Dystonia

Movement disorder

Our multi-disciplinary neuroscience unit can diagnose and treat the symptoms of dystonia, improving quality of life

What is dystonia?

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder causing repetitive muscle contractions. This causes involuntary muscle spasms and abnormal fixed body positions.

Dystonia can affect the whole body, one part of the body, or a number of adjacent areas. There's no cure, but treatment can help relieve symptoms.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of dystonia? icon plus

    Dystonia is usually a lifelong condition and symptoms may be constant, or occasional. They include:

    • uncontrolled, painful muscle cramps and spasms
    • blinking that cannot be controlled
    • abnormal fixed positions; your neck twisting to one side, for example
    • uncontrolled shaking
  • How is dystonia diagnosis? icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you and help to make a diagnosis. They will ask about your symptoms and family history as dystonia can be hereditary.

    Dystonia can be diagnosed through blood and urine tests. Brain scans such as MRI or CT scans can display underlying issues such as strokes, tumours or lesions.

    A further test called an electromyography exam measures electrical activity within the muscles. Your consultant will tell you the type of dystonia you have and which part of your body is affected.
  • Dystonia treatment options icon plus

    While there's no cure for dystonia, symptoms can be controlled through medication. This includes a muscle relaxants, which is injected into the muscles to stop contractions.

    Therapy may help to ease muscle pain and improve speech, and deep brain stimulation may also help control symptoms. Here, electrodes are implanted in the brain and a tiny generator sends electrical impulses to control the spasms.

    If these treatments don't work, selective denervation surgery is an option. This involves cutting the nerves causing the spasms.

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From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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