Pathophysiology and definition: Dystonia is a movement disorder in which a person's muscles contract uncontrollably. The contraction causes the affected body part to twist involuntarily, resulting in repetitive movements or abnormal postures. Dystonia can affect one muscle, a muscle group, or the entire body. Dystonia affects about 1% of the population, and women are more prone to it than men.
CAUSES: Most cases of dystonia do not have a specific cause. Dystonia seems to be related to a problem in the basal ganglia. That's the area of the brainthat is responsible for initiating muscle contractions. The problem involves the way the nerve cells communicate. Acquired dystonia is caused by damage to the basal ganglia. The damage could be the result of: • Brain trauma • Stroke • Tumor • Oxygen deprivation • Infection • Drug reactions • Poisoning caused by lead or carbon monoxide Idiopathic or primary dystonia is often inherited from a parent. Some carriers of the disorder may never develop a dystonia themselves. And the symptoms may vary widely among members of the same family.
TREATMENT: There are a number of treatment techniques that can control the involuntary movements and spasms of dystonia, including medication, physiotherapy, and in some cases, surgery. The aim is to provide relief from the abnormal movements and postures of dystonia, plus any associated pain and discomfort. In some cases, other conditions that arise as a result of dystonia, such as stress, anxiety or depression, may also need to be treated. Treatment for dystonia should be based on the individual and their specific needs. As different people respond differently to different treatments, it may be necessary to try several options to find out which one works best. There are four main types of treatment for dystonia. They are: • botulinum toxin • medication • physiotherapy • surgery, including deep brain stimulation (DBS)
STATISTICS: There is no particular statistics for these disease in Switzerland.