Laurice Yang

Laurice Yang

Stanford University, USA

Title: Diagnosis and treatment for dystonia


Laurice Yang earned a Master’s Degree in Health Administration at the University of Southern California where she received the high honor as a Dean Merit Scholar. She went on to obtain her Medical Degree from the University of Vermont and completed her Neurology Residency at the University of Southern California where she was appointed Neuroscience Chief Resident and spent the year revamping the entire medical student/resident education curriculum. She completed her clinical training as a Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of California in Los Angeles under Dr. Jeff Bronstein. She is a board-certified Neurologist, specializing in the diagnosis of movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, atypical parkinsonian disorders, essential tremor, and Huntington’s disease. She has an interest in dystonia and spasticity and has been trained to perform botulinum toxin injection under ultrasound guidance to better ensure accuracy and efficacy with each procedure. She has also presented lectures on topics in dystonia, education, and healthcare administration for CME (Continuing Medical Education) faculty development courses and at the American Academy of Neurology.



Dystonia is a characterized by intermittent, abnormal and often repetitive muscle contractions. The diagnosis of dystonia can often be difficult to assess due to the variability and complexity of the disease. During this lecture, we will first review the historical context of how dystonia was discovered and how the clinical understanding of dystonia had evolved over the last several decades. We will discuss the clinical characteristics of the most common types of dystonia and review how to accurately describe and categorize this very complex disease. We will also review the medical treatment options and discuss the efficacy of botulinum toxin as well as techniques on how to be more accurate during the injection procedure. We will explore the other types of treatment such as sensorimotor retraining therapies, which takes advantage of the neuroplasticity of the brain to help “relearn” normal movement. And lastly, we will explore the surgical options that are available now as well as other types of procedures that could supplement the current treatment options. The learning objectives for this presentation are: Understanding the main diagnostic components of dystonia; being familiar with the different types of dystonia; describing medical and surgical treatment; and describing sensorimotor retraining and its role in those who have dystonia.