D
Name  Dystonia
Related to/Also known as  
Symptoms Dystonia is a disorder which causes muscles in the body to contract and spasm involuntarily. Spasms may affect one part of the body or many parts simultaneously and can be very painful.
Types

The Dystonias can be defined in terms of which body parts are involved.

  • Focal - affects one part
  • Segmental - 2 or more adjacent body parts
  • Multifocal - 2 or more non-adjacent parts
  • Generalised

Primary focal dystonia are the most common including:

  • Cervical dystonia (or spasmodic torticollis) affects the neck muscles.
  • Blepharospasm affects the muscles of the eyelids.
  • Hand dystonia/writers cramp affects the hand and finger muscles
  • Laryngeal dystonia (or spasmodic dysphonia) affects the vocal chords.
  • Oromandibular dystonia affects the muscles in the jaw, mouth and tongue.
Useful national contacts The Dystonia Society
Helpline: 0845 458 6322
Link opens in new window www.dystonia.org.uk
Online resources MediKidz help to explain Dystonia management
Link opens in new window www.medikidz.com/gb-en/the-medikidz-help-to-explain-dystonia-management
News and events

Dystonia Awareness Week, 29th April - 7th May, 2017
Link opens in new window http://dystonia.org.uk/index.php/about-us/news/622-awareness-week-2016

The 100,000 Genomes Project is looking for people with Dystonia for research into their DNA and genes
Link opens in new window www.genomicsengland.co.uk/taking-part

Sign Joanne's petition: Dystonia needs to be recognised by all medical professions & occupational therapists
Link opens in new window www.change.org/p/joanne-hillis-raise-awareness-for-a-neurological-condition-called-dystonia

Our resources

The library at The Brain Charity has a range of reference resources on this condition and on a wide range of disability-related issues.

This includes the Dystonia Society's booklet "Dystonia Self-Help Techniques".