Is dystonia a form of Parkinson's?
Dystonia can be one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD is a long-term neurological movement disorder with various symptoms ranging from slowness of movement (bradykinesia), rigidity of muscles, tremor, loss of balance, memory impairment, personality changes and others. In young-onset PD, foot dystonia may be the first feature. Later, other symptoms such as personality changes and memory impairment become noticeable.
Dystonia may sometimes develop as an isolated symptom in individuals who do not have PD. It may be seen in people who suffer from Huntington’s chorea, birth injury, stroke, brain infections, etc. Sometimes, a person with Parkinson’s may develop dystonia due to the drug Leva Dopa that is given as a part of PD treatment.
Dystonia is a neurological disorder that purely affects movement and is characterized by involuntary (not under conscious control) contractions of the muscles causing repetitive or twisting movements or abnormal postures. Dystonia can occur in isolation or as a symptom of PD. It, however, does not affect everyone with PD.
Both PD and dystonia seem to occur due to the involvement of a part of the brain called the basal ganglia. Thus, the symptoms of both can occur in the same person.
What is dystonia?
Dystonia is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary (not under conscious control) contractions of the muscles causing repetitive or twisting movements or abnormal postures. Movements in dystonia may be painful, interfering with everyday tasks. Besides the involuntary movements, some people with dystonia may have tremors or other neurologic features. Dystonia is one of the most common movement disorders affecting around 250,000 people in the United States. Dystonia can affect any part of the body including the face, jaw, eyelids, neck, torso or limbs. Dystonia has different names depending on which parts of the body are affected
- Generalized dystonia: This affects most or all of the body.
- Focal dystonia: This type of dystonia is localized to a specific part of the body.
- Multifocal dystonia: This affects two or more unrelated body parts.
- Segmental dystonia: This involves two or more adjacent parts of the body.
- Hemidystonia: In this type of dystonia, the arm and leg on the same side of the body are involved.
What are the symptoms of dystonia?
The symptoms of dystonia may vary from person to person. Various types of dystonia can affect only one muscle, groups of muscles or muscles throughout the body. In childhood or early-onset dystonia, the symptoms often start in the limbs and may progress to involve other parts of the body. Symptoms may occur after periods of exertion. They may fluctuate throughout the course of the day.
In adult-onset dystonia, the symptoms usually affect one or adjacent parts of the body, most often involving the neck and/or facial muscles.
Involuntary muscle contractions may affect a single area (focal dystonia) such as the leg, jaw or arm.
- Symptoms may occur while performing a specific task such as playing a musical instrument (musician’s dystonia), typing (typist’s cramp) or writing (writer’s cramp). These are called task-specific dystonia.
- Dystonia symptoms may get worse because of anxiety, fatigue or stress.
- In neck or cervical dystonia or torticollis, the neck may twist and turn to one side or pull forward or backward. This may cause pain.
- In blepharospasm, the eyelids are affected. There is rapid blinking or involuntary spasms that close the eyes. It may be severe in the presence of bright light, stress or public interactions. There is no pain, but the eyes may feel dry.
- Oromandibular dystonia involves the muscles of the jaw, lips and tongue. It can cause difficulties with opening and closing the jaw. It may affect speech and swallowing. There may be slurred speech, drooling and difficulty in chewing and swallowing.
- Laryngeal or spasmodic dystonia affects the muscles of the vocal cords. It causes strained, whispering or breathy voice.
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation Canada
American Parkinson Disease Association
Top Is Dystonia a Form of Parkinson's Related Articles
benztropineBenztropine is a medication used as an adjunct therapy for the treatment of all forms of Parkinson’s disease. Common side effects of benztropine include rapid heart rate (tachycardia), confusion, disorientation, depression, memory impairment, nervousness, visual hallucinations, worsening of psychotic symptoms, toxic psychosis, lethargy, numbness of fingers, absence of sweating (anhidrosis), high body temperature (hyperthermia), and others. Safety of use in pregnancy is not established, avoid use. Anticholinergic medications may suppress lactation and it is not known if it is excreted in breast milk, avoid use.
carbidopaCarbidopa is a medication always used in combination with levodopa used to treat Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative movement disorder. Common side effects with levodopa or carbidopa/levodopa combination include uncontrolled movements, impairment of voluntary movement control and slowness of movement, delusions, paranoid ideation, hallucinations, confusion, agitation, drowsiness (somnolence), dream abnormalities, nightmares, insomnia, and others.
carbidopa/levodopaCarbidopa/levodopa is a combination medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease in adults. Common side effects of carbidopa/levodopa include movement disorders (dyskinesia), nausea, vomiting, indigestion (dyspepsia), diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite (anorexia), duodenal ulcer, gastrointestinal bleeding, dry mouth (xerostomia), taste disorder (dysgeusia), dark saliva, palpitations, cardiac irregularities, low blood pressure (hypotension), and others.
How Do People Get Parkinson’s?Parkinson's disease is a chronic age-related brain condition of the nervous system, causing parts of your brain to degenerate. People get Parkinson's due to genetic and environmental factors, age, gender, and other things.
How Do You Get Parkinson's Disease?Parkinson's disease results from a lack of dopamine production in the brain, affecting a person's physical and mental abilities. Learn what the causes and symptoms are of Parkinson's and how to best treat it.
Parkinson's DiseaseParkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest, slowing of voluntary movements, a gait with short accelerating steps, peculiar posture and muscle weakness, caused by degeneration of an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, and by low production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Most patients are over 50, but at least 10 percent are under 40.
Parkinson's Disease: Eating RightEating a well-balanced and nutritional diet is very beneficial to people with Parkinson's disease. With a proper diet, our bodies work more efficiently and it is especially helpful because Parkinson's disease medications will work properly.
Parkinson's SlideshowDiscover the symptoms, causes, stages, and treatment options for Parkinson's disease. Learn more about the stages of Parkinson's disease such as tremors and loss of muscle control.
Parkinson's QuizParkinson's disease is common among neurodegenerative disorders. Do you know how it works? The causes? The symptoms? Take the Parkinson’s Disease Quiz to Test your knowledge of Parkinson's.
pramipexolePramipexole is a medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome in adults. Pramipexole relieves the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome, but the drug cannot cure these conditions. Common side effects of pramipexole include dizziness, drowsiness (somnolence), headache, insomnia, weakness (asthenia), constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite (anorexia), indigestion (dyspepsia), upper abdominal pain, abdominal distress, swallowing difficulty (dysphagia), dry mouth (xerostomia), increased appetite, abnormality in thinking, and others.
selegilineSelegiline is a medication used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, a movement disorder caused by the degeneration of nerve cells (neurons) in certain regions of the brain. Common side effects of selegiline include nausea, vomiting, swallowing difficulties (dysphagia), indigestion (dyspepsia), abdominal pain, gas (flatulence), constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth (xerostomia), dizziness, headache, involuntary uncontrolled movements (dyskinesia), tremor, impairment of coordination/balance/speech (ataxia), suicidal thoughts and behavior, insomnia, hallucination, psychotic-like behavior, and others.
What Are 10 Possible Causes of Parkinson's Disease?Parkinson's disease is a neurological condition that mainly affects your body's movement. The 10 possible causes of Parkinson's disease include genetics, chemical exposure, where you live, and other factors.
What Are the 5 Signs of Parkinson's Disease?Parkinson's disease is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder that leads to a gradual decline of your motor functions. The 5 signs of Parkinson's include tremors, stiffness, balance problems, trouble speaking, and small handwriting.
What Are the 5 Stages of Parkinson’s Disease?Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease that affects movement. Learn about symptoms in each of the 5 stages.
What Are the Newest Drugs for Parkinson’s?Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder that causes movement problems like a slow, shuffling walk, loss of balance and coordination, and tremors. The newest drugs for Parkinson's are adenosine A2a antagonists and other therapies.
What Is the Most Effective Treatment for Parkinson's?Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes movement problems like shaking, slow movements, muscle stiffness, and loss of balance and coordination. The most effective treatment for Parkinson's is levodopa, but there are other medications and treatments available.
What Is the Best Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease?Parkinson's disease is the deterioration of brain nerves that control movement. Learn what medical treatments can help ease your Parkinson's disease symptoms and speed up your recovery.