Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary contractions of the muscles. The three main types of dystonia are genetic, acquired, and idiopathic. Dystonia can be focal, affecting a specific muscle group, or generalized, affecting the whole body.
Looking for a diagnosis or care for dystonia in Southern California? Dignity Health Southern California offers trusted neurology services at our hospitals throughout the region. Find a Doctor today to make an appointment with one of our expert neurologists near you and experience our individualized care with humankindness.
Genetic dystonia is an inherited form of the condition. While the condition can be passed down by one or both parents, not all parents with dystonia pass the condition to their children.
Acquired dystonia (secondary dystonia) is caused by a brain injury. Brain injuries responsible for dystonia may occur due to:
While many things can cause acquired dystonia, most cases of dystonia are idiopathic, meaning there is no known cause for the condition. Idiopathic dystonia may be caused by nerve cells behaving abnormally in the parts of the brain responsible for motor movement. It also may be caused by problems with neurotransmitters — the chemicals that relay information between the brain and the nerves.
The primary symptom of dystonia is involuntary muscle movement. Depending on the muscle groups affected and the type of dystonia involved, symptoms can include:
- Muscle cramps
- Twitching of the muscles
- Trouble speaking
- Rapid eye blinking
In certain cases, one specific function may be affected. For example, you may not be able to write with a pencil, but can still use that hand to eat or perform other routine tasks.
Treatment of Dystonia at Dignity Health Southern California
Treatment strategies for dystonia focus on relieving the involuntary muscle spasms caused by the disorder. Typical treatment protocols for a dystonia include:
- Botulinum toxin injections
- Oral medications
- Deep brain stimulation
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
Trust the neurologists at Dignity Health Southern California to help you find relief from your dystonia symptoms and find a treatment that meets your unique needs. Dignity Health provides specialized care for dystonia in Southern California.