Although people have suffered from dystonia for centuries, the symptoms of this disorder were not identified and given a name until the early 1900s. Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that is less common than Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor.
People diagnosed with dystonia often experience involuntary muscle contractions that force certain parts of the body into abnormal, and sometimes painful, movements or postures. Dystonia can affect any part of the body, including the arms and legs, trunk, neck, eyelids, face or vocal cords. It may affect a single muscle, an entire muscle group, or muscles throughout the body.
When involuntary muscle contractions interfere with normal function, patients may have difficulty walking, writing or speaking. In general, patients with dystonia experience no impairment of cognition, strength, or the senses, including vision and hearing. Dystonia can be inherited, but there is no known cause in the majority of cases.
The Dystonia Foundation offers additional details about the condition and information about support networks for people diagnosed with dystonia. Learn More about the Dystonia Foundation »
If you think that you or a loved one might be exhibiting some of the symptoms of dystonia and would like to make an appointment with a movement disorders specialist, please call (513) 475-8730.