Though not a very common condition in India, it is the third most common condition in the USA behind Parkinson’s disease and tremor. Around 2.5 lac people there are known to be suffering from this condition. As far as the age group for this condition is concerned, there is none and can affect anyone from a child to old people irrespective of races, religion or ethnicities.
A deep part of the brain that helps to control movement is known as basal ganglia. The condition is a result of abnormal functioning of this part. This part is responsible for management of movements of the body and prevention of unwanted movements. But, if you are suffering from dystonia and you lose control over the movement management causing repetition of movements, positions and postures besides twisting as well. Not only can it affect the different parts of the body like the legs, trunk, arms and face, it can also affect your vocal cords.
This condition can adversely affect your daily routines disrupting one of many of the functions. For example if dystonia affects your neck then you will experience difficulty even in eating, chewing and swallowing. In-spite of it not being a life threatening condition it does tend to cause embarrassment and depression in many, thus resulting into emotional distress. As a result there are many support groups working to help people work on their mental health even though separate treatment for mental health is needed in-order to cope up with the challenges that that condition brings along.
AGE GROUP DIVISION
Dystonia is known to affect different age groups right from the age 0 to that of 20 and older. The Childhood onset of the condition is known to begin between 0 – 12 years, while adolescent onset stars around 3-20 years and adult onset starts above 20 years of age.
At times this condition is not easily diagnosed and could be mistaken as stress or some sort of psychological disorder. Diagnosis therefore is not easy. In its initial stages dystonia symptoms are arise only after specific tasks or movements but when it advances it can also occur during rest period. As it affects the same group of muscles it leads to repetitive movement over time. The process of development is generally slow and the symptoms are confined to local region. Different types of dystonia exhibit different symptoms like for example blepharospasm dystonia shows symptoms like repetitive and blinking at speed, eye irritation and sensitivity to light. Even as far as progress of the different condition in dystonia are concerned they vary from people to people. In some people it might be a gradual progression while in some a speed one. In some it could be all plateaus. In its advanced form it could lead to a lot of postural issues and deformities, torso contortions, involuntary rhythmic movements and more.
Either medication or surgery or botox injections are used for treatment purpose. They could be used separately or in conjunction with each other. Botox as well as medications do help in blocking the communication between the nerve and the muscle and slow down the abnormal postures and movements
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