All I Got To Know About Dystonia

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Dystonia is a movement disorder in which one individual’s muscles are not controllable. It causes the body to turn and twist involuntarily which leads to repetitive movements or abnormal postures. Dystonias has types, it can affect one muscle, a group of muscles or all muscles at the same time. It is only common in the 1% of the people all around the world and most women are the victim as compared to men.

When Does It Start?

This disease usually begins with one single area, such as the neck, arm or leg. It majorly hits people who are above 21 years of age and usually begins affecting their neck, arm or face. For a while, it remains to the place it starts from and then gradually starts occurring during a specific action, such as writing. Dystonia worsens with stress, fatigue or anxiety.

Symptoms Of Dystonia

Various symptoms of dystonias are very hard to identify at earlier stages as they can range from very mild to severe. Dystonia has abilities to affect different parts of our body and sometimes the symptoms of this disease progress through stages.
Some early symptoms include:

  • Dragging leg
  • Foot cramping
  • Neck muscles get pulled
  • Uncontrollable blinking of the eyes
  • Facing difficulties in speech

There are very strong chances that Dystonia’s symptoms aggravate due to excessive stress and fatigue and worsen the situation. People with dystonia often complain of pain and exhaustion because of the constant muscle contractions.

Causes of Dystonia

Till date researchers have failed to find the exact cause of this disease, most of them say that dystonia does not have a specific cause. Some say it is related to the brain cells and some are still uncertain about what causes it.
These are some of the expected major causes of dystonia

  • Brain trauma
  • Stroke
  • Tumour
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Infection
  • Drug reactions

Are There Types?

Dystonias are classified as syndromes based on their patterns:

  1. Blepharospasm
    In this type of dystonia, your eyes get affected and the symptoms become clear when uncontrollable blinking is experienced.
  2. Cervical dystonia
    This is the most common type of dystonia. Cervical dystonia affects the neck muscles, causing the head to twist and turn or be pulled backwards or forward.
  3. Cranial dystonia
    This affects our head, face, and neck muscles.
  4. Oromandibular dystonia
    This type causes spasms of the jaw, lips, and tongue muscles. This dystonia can also cause problems with speech and swallowing.
  5. Spasmodic dystonia
    Spasmodic dystonia affects throat muscles.
  6. Paroxysmal dystonia
    This occurs in episodes. The symptoms are only evident during attacks. Whereas the rest of the time, the patient is normal.
  7. Torsion dystonia
    Torsion dystonia is a very rare disorder. It affects our entire body and disables the person. In this type of dystonia, the symptoms appear in childhood and get worse as the person ages.
  8. Writer’s cramp
    Writer’s cramp occurs while writing. It affects the hand and/or forearm muscles.

Frequently Asked Question:

  1. Is Dystonia a form of Parkinson’s?
    Dystonia is a sustained or repetitive muscle twisting, spasm or cramp that can occur at different times of the day and in different stages of Parkinson’s disease (PD). For example, dystonia is a common early symptom of young-onset Parkinson’s.
  2. Can you die from dystonia?
    In the overwhelming majority of people with dystonia, it does not shorten life expectancy or result in death. In very severe, generalized dystonia, affecting all body areas, there can be problems that may arise secondary to the dystonia which can cause medical illnesses
  3. Does exercise help dystonia?
    Exercise therapy can help to manage dystonia. While exercise doesn’t treat the dystonia itself, it does help to alleviate the symptoms. Symptoms which are positively affected by exercise include poor balance, rigid or poor posture, reduced mobility, and low stamina.
  4. Can dystonias be cured?
    Currently, there are no medications or treatments to prevent dystonia or slow its progression, nor is there a cure. There are several treatment options that can ease some of the symptoms of dystonia, including Botulinum toxin (botox) injections are often the most effective treatment of focal dystonias.

Mental diseases should not be ignored, they need to be treated properly otherwise it can you your life. To get professional advice, call Marham so we can help you. Contact us at 03111222398 to book a session or you can also get an online consultation with our doctors while sitting back at home.

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Javeria Adil Chughtai

Javeria Adil Chughtai

A journalist and a medical researcher by profession, badminton player and photographer by passion. You can call me an artist but No, I can't draw you! 😀

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