Dystonia is a condition that is identified by contractions of the involuntary muscles which cause movements of a repetitive nature. A person might sense painful movements and experience tremors. There..
Dystonia is a condition that is identified by contractions of the involuntary muscles which cause movements of a repetitive nature. A person might sense painful movements and experience tremors. There are various types of dystonia that are genetic in nature. Dystonia is thought to be a neurological condition, caused by problems of the nervous system. However, in most cases, brain functions such as intelligence, memory, and language remain unaffected. Primary dystonia is mainly hereditary and its generalized form is the most difficult to live with and treat. Dystonia is not associated with problems in thinking or understanding, but depression and anxiety may be present. There are five types of dystonia: Focal dystonia - affecting muscles around the eyes, in the neck, in the throat, or in one of the limbs. Segmental dystonia - affecting an area of the body, such as the neck and an arm. Hemidystonia - affecting the arm and leg on one side of the body. Multifocal dystonia - affecting two or more parts of the body that aren’t connected, such as the left arm and leg. Generalised dystonia – affecting both legs and other regions of the body.
Symptoms of this disease vary with its form. Some of the symptoms include:
- Disposition to turn or drag one foot after running or walking some distance.
- Involuntary turning of the neck when a person is stressed or extremely tired.
- Rapid blinking or closing of eyes due to spasms.
- Difficulties in speech.
- Depression and anxiety.
The exact cause of dystonia is not known. While, there are certain types of dystonia that are inherited, or acquired. Dystonia is basically caused due to damage to the basal ganglia, the area of brain that initiates muscle contraction. The damage may be caused due to:
- Deprivation of oxygen.
- Poisoning due to carbon monoxide or lead.
- Infections like tuberculosis.
- Reactions due to certain medications.
- Brain tumour.
- Parkinson’s disease.
- Wilson’s disease.
- Huntington’s disease.
Major risk factors are:
- Family history.
- Women are more likely to develop cervical dystonia.
- The probability of the disorder arises after the age of 30.
- History of postural tremor.
Primary dystonia is not preventable as it is inherited. However secondary forms can be prevented by:
- Adopting healthy lifestyle.
- Regular exercising and muscle stretching.
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