Dystonia is a neurological condition recognized as a motion disorder that involves over activity of a variety of different muscles simultaneously that work against each other. It presents itself in a variety of symptoms but typically involves repetitive, patterned and often twisting involuntary muscle contractions resembling tremors.
According to the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, over 300,000 people are affected in the U.S. and Canada alone. Dystonia is the third most common problem seen in movement disorder clinics.
Because it has many different manifestations, it is often misdiagnosed. In addition, similar to Parkinson’s disease, there are no specific tests that can positively diagnose dystonia. A doctor typically will evaluate patient and family history, potentially do genetic testing, EEG testing, blood and urine tests.
There are also many treatment options for patients but depend on the type of dystonia. Botox and certain medications may be helpful. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is also a treatment option.