Free Essays - Dystonia Will Not Control My Life

Have you ever wondered what life would be like with an uncontrollable muscle spasm? How would it change your life? One type of muscle spasm is called Dystonia, which causes a twitching with a group of muscles moving involuntarily. Understanding what Dystonia is can help the victim?s and everyone who knows them. People with Dystonia are different then people without it because thay are sometimes not able to do the same physical activities. For example a ?normal? person can drive a car, a person with spasmodic torticollis, a form of dystonia that affects the neck and shoulders, might have dystonia so badly that they can?t watch the road long enough to control the car.Whom does Dystonia affect?

Around half a million people suffer from Dystonia in the United States (O?Connor). It is estimated that 6% of the people with Dystonia have obtained accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment (Wallace). Dystonia is a term for a group of neurological disorders that result in sustained involuntary muscle spasms in one or more parts of the body (Fact sheet). Dystonia is suspected to be a defect in the body?s ability to process a particular group of chemicals, which help transmit nerve impulses (Bair). Dystonia causes painful muscle contractions and can affect the eyes, face, neck, voice and limbs (Dystonia). It is the second most common movement disorder next to Parkinson?s (Dystonia).


Dystonia is treated by the most potent nerve poison known, Botulinum toxin (Dystonia). botox (Botulinum toxin) is a purified neutrotoxin complex, a purified form of the toxin of the Bacterium clostridium botulium (fact sheet). This treatment is available to the forms of Dystonia affecting the face and eyelid muscles (Fact sheet). This treatment is being used by 5,000 patients (Fact Sheet). While there is no cure the treatments relieve some of the pain and reduce some of the over active motor activity (Wallace).

Types of Dystonia

Spasmodic torticollis or S.T. is a type of Dystonia that can affect the muscles in the neck and shoulders. S.T. is the most common form of Dystonia affecting approximately 83,000 people. About three out of every 10,000 people are affected by S.T. (Wallace). The patients? neck may turn or the muscles may pull involuntary and tighten up, more so when they are tired (Bair).

Another type of dystonia is Blepharospasm is when the eyelids, jaws, lips, or tongue are involved. Spasmodic Dysphonia is Dystonia in the vocal cords. Generalized Dystonia affects several muscle groups and involves the whole body (Wallace). Torsion Dystonia is a disorder which causes a twist either repeated or uninterrupted involuntary movement. This movement might involve a single muscle or a group of them ( Bair).

Other way a person can get Dystonia

Three other ways a person can or could have gotten Dystonia are acquired, dominantly inherited, and recessively inherited. Acquired Dystonia occurs because of a birth injury such as lack of oxygen, certain infections, reactions to certain drugs, intoxication with heavy metals or carbon monoxide, trauma, or a stroke can cause Dystonia at birth. People who get the disease this way have abnormal movement of one side of their body. It starts at the same time of the injury. Symptoms most the time don?t get worse and don?t spread (Bair).

Dominantly inherited Dystonia is when it is passed on by one parent. The parent who gives this gene away more then likely has Dystonia symptoms. This person?s child has a 50% chance of also Developing Dystonia. Symptoms normally hit in late adolescence or early adulthood. Generally the neck muscles are involved. This one may spread and if so it won?t go far (Bair).

Recessively inherited Dystonia occurs when parents are normal but carry a defective gene and pass it their child. One-forth of kids born to parents like this inherits one defective gene from each parent. The children born to parents like this develop Dystonia. Symptoms appear between the ages of 5- 16 in the foot or the hand. This may spread to other parts of the body. After adolescence most the time it doesn?t spread (Bair).

The recessively inherited Dystonia found mostly in people of Ashkenazic Jewish ancestry. (Eastern Europe) ?1/100 Jewish persons of the origin in the Untied States carry the defective gene? (Bair).

Changes family life

This disease changes the victims? life as well as their family. My mother was diagnosed with Dystonia when I was in the seventh grade. It was a side effect to a medication she was taking. Looking back my life has changed for the better. My eyes have been opened to the differences people have and I don?t judge the way I use too. I am so blessed to have a mother like her that showed me you can make it through anything in life with a little faith. I am very aware of all the small things in life we take for advantage.

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