HARLINGEN, Texas(ValleyCentral) — Dystonia is a neurological condition that affects both children and adults. Abnormal motor contractions of a muscle cause it. Risk factors include having a stroke, a head injury, or genetic factors. 

“Some patients are affected very severely, like their posture might be awkward, and they can’t even sit in a chair,” said neurologist Sohum Desai. “Other folks may have just very mild symptoms, like a writer’s cramp is a form of focal dystonia. So, these are all on a spectrum of cases of maybe mild and some and very severe and others.”

There are three forms of dystonia:

  • Generalized, which can affect most or all of the body
  • Focal, which affects one part of the body
  • Multifocal, which affects two or more unrelated parts of the body

Dystonia is a condition that causes the muscles to contract involuntarily. Patients who suffer from this may be eligible for deep brain stimulation.

Deep brain stimulation, or d-b-s, uses a small pacemaker-like device to send electronic signals to parts of the brain that controls movement.

The device is placed under the skin of the chest. The signals block some of the brain messages that cause the abnormal movements associated with dystonia.

“A common cause for dystonia is Parkinson’s disease,” Desai said. “And, you know, especially when the medications may not be quite as effective anymore for that condition. You know, that’s where dystonia can present itself, and deep brain stimulation can be effective for it.”