Dystonia is a type of movement disorder caused by excessive contraction of certain muscles that may be spasmodic or induced by stimuli or certain movement. There are hereditary generalized dystonia that begin in childhood in the great majority of the time.
The most common type of dystonia are focal dystonia involving just a small portion of muscles in one region of the body. The types of focal dystonia include abnormal contraction of muscles in the neck (cervical dystonia), eyelids (blepharospasm), jaw or mouth (oral-mandibular), voice (laryngeal) or hand (such as writer’s cramp). Therapy for dystonia typically involves injections in carefully selected muscles with one of the botulinum toxins (Botox, Myobloc, Dysport or Xeomin) . Dr. Hogan was the first neurologist in the state of Washington trained to utilize Botox over 20 years ago. He has had extensive experience using all four of these botulinum toxin therapies. Which one is chosen for each person depends on individual circumstances. Additionally, some patients may respond favorably to oral pharmacologic therapy or surgical therapy to treat their dystonia.
As with all conditions that we treat, the optimal response to treatment requires initiation of a comprehensive holistic approach that includes exercise, support, diet and others. (see link to 10 secrets to treatment of dystonia). Before any treatment, however, a complete neurological history and exam to evaluate for drug-induced dystonia or metabolic causes is first conducted.
Listen to a Podcast: Does it All, where Dr. Hogan discusses the tremendous value of exercise for the brain.
The Yoga4life DVD, featuring Dr. Hogan, Joan Hogan and Yoga instructor Patrick Hogan IV, teaches yoga poses, deep breathing and meditation to individuals with movement disorders. This DVD can be purchased in the office for a suggested $5 donation or online at http://www.spasmodictorticollis.org/index.cfm?pid=384&pageTitle=Yoga%204%20Life%20DVD.