Dystonia is a very complex neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions. It is common in United States as 250,000 people have dystonia. It is the third most common movement disorder behind essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease. It can affect young children as well as older people of all races and ethnicities. Dystonia can seriously impacts daily life activities.
Treatments of dystonia:
Since dystonia is such a common neurological problem so there are many options for dystonia treatment and these will be determined by the type and severity of the particular condition.
Common dystonia treatment methods are listed below;
- Drug treatments
- Botulinum toxin injections
- Surgical therapy
Many drugs have been using as an option of dystonia treatment. The uses of drug are depending on the type and severity of dystonia. However, some drugs which are using in dystonia are;
Levodopa; it is beneficial inn dopa-responsive dystonia (DRD). Small doses of levodopa can eliminate dystonia related symptoms in DRD without causing motor complications.
Anticholinergic drugs; blocks the action of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. And in turn inhibits nerve impulses responsible for involuntary muscle movements and various bodily functions in dystonia. These drugs are generally considered as best option of dystonia treatment.
Trihexyphenidyl; control unusual nerve impulses and relaxes stiff muscles. Trihexyphenidyl is used to treat the stiffness, tremors, spasms, and poor muscle control of dystonia.
Tetrabenazine is a drug which can also use as an option of dystonia treatment. It reduces the amount of certain chemicals in the body and help in managing dystonia.
Botulinum toxin injections:
Botulinum toxin is produced naturally by a bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin injections are used to reduce the excess muscle activity caused by dystonia. It acts as a blocker preventing release of the chemical messenger acetylcholine which is responsible for making the muscle contract and the signals that would normally be telling the muscle to contract are halted and the muscle spasms are reduced or maybe eliminated.
Surgical therapy which is using as a dystonia treatment option is deep brain stimulation. It is a neurosurgical procedure which involves the placement of a medical device ‘neurostimulator’ which sends electrical impulses, through implanted electrodes, to specific targets in the brain for the treatment of movement disorder such as dystonia.
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