Dystonia is one of the movement disorders and neurological problems in which person suffers from continuous muscles contraction that lead to repetitive movement and resultant twisted posture. Due to repetitive muscle contracture, the posture of person becomes abnormal. The person has no control in stopping these muscles contractions. So superimposed movements are seen in those patients that may be myoclonic, athetosis or tremors. These are mostly seen during work and they become better at rest.
The causes of dystonia are divided into primary causes and secondary cause. Although the exact reason for this disease is still not known. The primary cause is mostly seen to affect the adults while the secondary cause is seen in case of children suffering from this disease.
Primarily disease arises due to central nervous system dysfunction and the pathology damaging the motor functions. It is thought that genetics also play a role in causing this disease.
Dystonia is believed to be caused by disease of the brain and the central nervous system.
- These may be idiopathic as well as traumatic. Drug-induced dystonia is also seen in many people.
- Trauma such as head injuries, electrical injuries or any peripheral all leads to this condition development.
- Stroke and Wilson disease lead to the development of such condition so it may be caused by certain diseases.
- Lack of oxygen supply to the brain also lead to the development of dystonia
- Infection by various bacteria within the brain leads to this disease
- Abnormal metabolism disorders are also associated with causing this twisted posture disease.
- Poisoning from any poison such as metal poison may also lead to this movement disorder.
There are many types into which dystonia are presented in a person. These include
- Focal: it includes writer’s cramp, oromandibular dystonia, blepharospasm, spasmodic dystonia, cervical dystonia etc.
- Generalized: In this type, more than one segment of the body is affected by this condition. Mostly occurs in childhood first affecting the legs and then moves upward and involves other organs.
- Segmental: Here only one segment of the part of the body is suffering from dystonia.
- Multifocal: Here more than two or two parts of the body are involved which are not related to each other.
- Hemidystonia: Here only one side of the body is suffering from the dystonic condition.
- Intermediate dystonia
- Acute dystonic reaction
- Sexual dystonia.
Signs and symptoms
The signs and symptom of dystonia include difficulty in writing, cramps in muscles, due to running or walking one foot seemed to pull up, neck involuntary movements and its twisting, uncontrolled rapid eye blinking, speech problems, tremors, smacking of lips, and pain in the hands or muscles on little exertion. Likewise, there is seen widespread movement problems in such patients. These symptoms are first of slow intensity but they gradually progress and make the condition of the patient worse.
It is made after taking complete history and person’s presentation of abnormal and twisted posture. Certain tests are also done to find out the cause of the disease.
The use of certain medicines may improve the condition and slow down the abnormal muscle contractions. These include the use of muscle relaxants, cholinergic antagonist, and dopamine agonists.
Physiotherapy may help a person to acquire better position and function of the body and its part for performing daily activities of life.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.