dystonic /dis ton"ik/, adj.
/dis toh"nee euh/, n. Pathol.
abnormal tone of any tissue.

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      movement disorder characterized by the involuntary and repetitive contraction of muscle groups, resulting in twisting movements, unusual postures, and possible tremor of the involved muscles. As the disorder persists, movement may affect other muscle groups. Although dystonias may occur in families or sporadically, many are secondary to other disorders as reactions to medications; for example, one of the most common dystonias is induced by levodopa, a drug used in the treatment of Parkinson disease (parkinsonism).

      Dystonias may be classified in several ways, one of which is the mode of initiation of the movement; often the dystonia appears only with a specific action, such as the contraction of hand muscles when writing is attempted (writer's cramp). Another means of classification is the extent of muscle involvement: focal, affecting only one muscle group, such as the vocal cords (e.g., spastic dysphonia); segmental, involving two adjacent muscle groups, such as the neck muscles (e.g., spastic torticollis); or general, affecting the entire body.

      Treatment (therapeutics) varies depending on the cause. In some cases, dystonia may be treated by discontinuing use of the drug that is causing the symptoms. Various medications that act on different parts of the nervous system are often effective in the treatment of dystonias. Surgical therapies also may be used, such as thalamotomy, a procedure that destroys a specific group of cells in the brain, or cutting the nerves that supply the dystonic area. Some dystonias can be treated with botulinum toxin (e.g., Botox™, Myobloc™, and NeuroBloc™). An injection of this potent blocker of nerve transmission produces a temporary chemical denervation of the muscles that may last for several months.

Robert Joynt

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dystonia — [dis tō′ne ə] n. a lack of normal muscle tone due to disease or infection of the nervous system dystonic [distän′ik] adj …   English World dictionary

  • Dystonia — Dystonias Classification and external resources A person with medication induced dystonia. ICD 10 G24.9 …   Wikipedia

  • Dystonia — Involuntary movements and prolonged muscle contraction, resulting in twisting body motions, tremor, and abnormal posture. These movements may involve the entire body, or only an isolated area. Symptoms may even be "task specific," such… …   Medical dictionary

  • dystonia — n. muscle dysfunction characterized by spasms or abnormal muscle contraction. One form is a postural disorder often associated with disease of the basal ganglia in the brain. There may be spasm in the muscles of the face (see hemifacial spasm),… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • dystonia — noun Etymology: New Latin Date: 1860 any of various conditions (as Parkinson s disease and torticollis) characterized by abnormalities of movement and muscle tone • dystonic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • dystonia — noun A disabling neurological disorder in which prolonged and repetitive contractions of muscles cause jerking, twisting movements and abnormal postures of the body …   Wiktionary

  • dystonia — n. impairment of muscle tone …   English contemporary dictionary

  • dystonia — [dɪs təʊnɪə] noun Medicine a state of abnormal muscle tone resulting in muscular spasm and abnormal posture. Derivatives dystonic adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • dystonia — dys·to·nia …   English syllables

  • dystonia — dys•to•ni•a [[t]dɪsˈtoʊ ni ə[/t]] n. pat a neurological disorder marked by strong involuntary muscle spasms that cause painful and disabling twisting of the body • Etymology: 1955–60 dys•ton•ic ˈtɒn ɪk adj …   From formal English to slang

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