I have Dystonia

The causes of dystonia are not yet known or understood

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder, in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. The disorder may be hereditary or caused by other factors such as birth-related or other physical trauma, infection, poisoning (e.g., lead poisoning) or reaction to pharmaceutical drugs, particularly neuroleptics. Treatment is difficult and has been limited to minimizing the symptoms of the disorder, since there is no cure available.

Types of dystonia

  • Generalized
  • Focal
  • Segmental
  • Sexual
  • Intermediate
  • Psychogenic
  • Acute Dystonic Reaction

Generalized dystonias

I have Generalized Dystonia.

  • Normal birth history and milestones
  • Autosomal dominant
  • Childhood on
  • Starts in lower limbs and spreads upwards
  • Also known as “idiopathic torsion dystonia” (old terminology “dystonia musculorum deformans”)

Focal dystonias

Main article: Focal dystonia

These are the most common dystonias and tend to be classified as follows:

Name Location Description
Anismus muscles of therectum Causes painful defecation, constipation; may be complicated by encopresis.
Cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis) muscles of the neck Causes the head to rotate to one side, to pull down towards the chest, or back, or a combination of these postures.
Blepharospasm muscles around the eyes The sufferer experiences rapid blinking of the eyes or even their forced closure causing functional blindness.
Oculogyric crisis muscles of eyes and head An extreme and sustained (usually) upward deviation of the eyes often with convergence causing diplopia(double vision). It is frequently associated with backwards and lateral flexion of the neck and either widely opened mouth or jaw clenching. Frequently a result of antiemetics such as the neuroleptics(e.g., prochlorperazine) or metoclopramide. Also can be caused by Chlorpromazine
Oromandibular dystonia muscles of the jaw andmuscles of tongue Causes distortions of the mouth and tongue.
Spasmodic dysphonia/Laryngeal dystonia muscles of larynx Causes the voice to sound broken, become hoarse, sometimes reducing it to a whisper.
Focal hand dystonia (also known as musician’s orwriter’s cramp). single muscle or small group of muscles in the hand It interferes with activities such as writing or playing a musical instrument by causing involuntary muscular contractions. The condition is sometimes “task-specific,” meaning that it is generally only apparent during certain activities. Focal hand dystonia is neurological in origin, and is not due to normal fatigue. The loss of precise muscle control and continuous unintentional movement results in painful cramping and abnormal positioning that makes continued use of the affected body parts impossible.

The combination of blepharospasmodic contractions and oromandibular dystonia is called cranial dystonia or Meige’s syndrome.

Segmental dystonias

Segmental dystonias affect two adjoining parts of the body:

  • Hemidystonia affects an arm and foot on one side of the body.
  • Multifocal dystonia affects many different parts of the body.
  • Generalized dystonia affects most of the body, frequently involving the legs and back.

Signs and symptoms

Hyperglycemia-induced involuntary movements which, in this case, did not consist of typical hemiballismus, but rather of hemichorea (dance-like movements of one side of the body; initial movements of the right arm in the video) and bilateraldystonia (slow muscle contraction in legs, chest and right arm) in a 62-year-old Japanese woman with type 1 diabetes.

Symptoms vary according to the kind of dystonia involved. In most cases, dystonia tends to lead to abnormal posturing, particularly on movement. Many sufferers have continuous pain, cramping and relentless muscle spasms due to involuntary muscle movements. Other motor symptoms are possible including lip smacking.[9]

Early symptoms may include loss of precision muscle coordination (sometimes first manifested in declining penmanship, frequent small injuries to the hands, and dropped items), cramping pain with sustained use and trembling. Significant muscle pain and cramping may result from very minor exertions like holding a book and turning pages. It may become difficult to find a comfortable position for arms and legs with even the minor exertions associated with holding arms crossed causing significant pain similar to restless leg syndrome. Affected persons may notice trembling in the diaphragm while breathing, or the need to place hands in pockets, under legs while sitting or under pillows while sleeping to keep them still and to reduce pain. Trembling in the jaw may be felt and heard while lying down, and the constant movement to avoid pain may result in the grinding and wearing down of teeth, or symptoms similar to TMD. The voice may crack frequently or become harsh, triggering frequent throat clearing. Swallowing can become difficult and accompanied by painful cramping.

Electrical sensors (EMG) inserted into affected muscle groups, while painful, can provide a definitive diagnosis by showing pulsating nerve signals being transmitted to the muscles even when they are at rest. The brain appears to signal portions of fibers within the affected muscle groups at a firing speed of about 10 Hz causing them to pulsate, tremble and contort. When called upon to perform an intentional activity, the muscles fatigue very quickly and some portions of the muscle groups do not respond (causing weakness) while other portions over-respond or become rigid (causing micro-tears under load). The symptoms worsen significantly with use, especially in the case of focal dystonia, and a “mirror effect” is often observed in other body parts: use of the right hand may cause pain and cramping in that hand as well as in the other hand and legs that were not being used. Stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, sustained use and cold temperatures can worsen symptoms.

Direct symptoms may be accompanied by secondary effects of the continuous muscle and brain activity, including disturbed sleep patterns, exhaustion, mood swings, mental stress, difficulty concentrating, blurred vision, digestive problems and short temper. People with dystonia may also become depressed and find great difficulty adapting their activities and livelihood to a progressing disability. Side effects from treatment and medications can also present challenges in normal activities.

In some cases, symptoms may progress and then plateau for years, or stop progressing entirely. The progression may be delayed by treatment or adaptive lifestyle changes, while forced continued use may make symptoms progress more rapidly. In others, the symptoms may progress to total disability, making some of the more risky forms of treatment worth considering. In some cases with patients who already have dystonia, a subsequent tramatic injury or the effects of general anethesia during an unrelated surgery can cause the symptoms to progress rapidly.

An accurate diagnosis may be difficult because of the way the disorder manifests itself. Sufferers may be diagnosed as having similar and perhaps related disorders including Parkinson’s disease,essential tremor, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMD, Tourette’s syndrome, or other neuromuscular movement disorders. It has been found that the prevalence of dystonia is high in individuals with Huntington’s disease, where the most common clinical presentations are internal shoulder rotation, sustained fist clenching, knee flexion, and foot inversion.[10] Risk factors for increased dystonia in patients with Huntington’s disease include long disease duration and use of antidopaminergic medication.

This came from Wikipedia Online http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/


Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: