Dystonia is a syndrome characterized by involuntary, irregular muscle contractions that causing twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. The contractions are often accompanied by extreme pain or disability. Dystonia has many forms and may be caused by physical trauma, infection, tumor, toxic effects from lead poisoning or medications, or hereditary factors.  Investigators believe that dystonia results from an abnormality in an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, where some of the messages that initiate muscle contractions are processed. Dystonia can coincide with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, multiple sclerosis, or other problems. Since it cannot be cured, therapy is limited to treating dystonia symptoms with medication and/or physical therapy. Deep brain stimulation is an effective surgical treatment for certain types of hereditary dystonia, as well as cervical (neck) dystonia.

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A deep brain stimulation system (DBS) delivers electrical impulses to specific brain areas to restore the balance of circuits that are disrupted, overcoming abnormal activity . . .

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Surgery is only one step in the process of undergoing deep brain stimulation therapy . . .

Reviewed April 2, 2012
Jaimie M. Henderson, MD
Director-at-Large, International Neuromodulation Society, 2011 - 2014
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, and, By Courtesy, of Neurology and Neurological Sciences; Robert and Ruth Halperin Faculty Scholar; Director, Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery; Co-Director, Neural Prosthetics Translational Laboratory; Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA

Last Updated on Monday, November 22, 2021 11:03 AM