Dystonia is characterized by involuntary movements and sustained muscle contractions. It may cause frequent twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. It is the result of inappropriate instructions from the brain. They may be referred to as “Torsion Spasms.” Dystonia is neurological, suspected of being caused by a pathology of the central nervous system. It likely originates in those parts of the brain involving motor function, such as the Basal Ganglia.  The cause is unknown but an inherited pre disposition is increasingly recognized. Environmental factors also weigh in significantly. The condition  usually involves brain damage but there can be a chemical imbalance. The disorder may also be related to physical trauma, infection, heavy metal poisoning (lead) or a reaction to pharmaceutical drugs.  It can be associated with other brain pathology. Involuntary eye closures, tongue & jaw difficulty (swallowing, speech) and neck/back spasm are common. Dystonia was thought to be rare but can often be misdiagnosed. Treatment is difficult and has been limited to minimizing the symptoms in the absence of a cure.

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