Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder characterized by muscle contractions that cause hand tremor (in the most incipient faze) , twisting and abnormal posture. The disease can be hereditary or caused by some other factors like physical trauma, poisoning, infection or bad reaction to neuroleptics.

There are 5 types of dystonia:

-         Generalized dystonia

-         Focal dystonia

-         Segmental dystonia

-         Intermediate dystonia

-         Acute dystonic reaction

The focal dystonia is classified as following:

-         Animus, located in the muscles of the rectum, causing painful defection and constipation

-         Cervical dystonia (also called spasmodic torticollis), located in the neck muscles, causes the head to rotate to one side or pull towards the chest

-         Blepharospasm, located in the muscles surrounding the eyes, causes rapid blinking or even forced closure that leads to blindness

-         Oculogyric crisis, located in the muscles of the eye and head, causes an upward deviation of the eyes. It is also associated with lateral flexing of the neck and it is usually caused by neuroleptics

-         Oromandibular dystonia, located in the muscles of the jaw and tongue, causes distortions of the mouth and tongue

-         Spasmodic dystonia, or laryngeal dystonia, located in the muscles of larynx, causes the voice to sound broken and it can reduce it to a mere whisper

-         Focal hand dystonia, also known as writer’s cramp, located in the muscles of the hand, causes the loss of muscle control, hand tremor, painful cramping and abnormal posture

The segmental dystonia is splinted into three categories:

-         Hemidystonia, affecting one half of the body

-         Multifocal dystonia, affecting multiple parts of the body

-         Generalized dystonia, affecting the entire body, mostly the legs and the back

The causes of dystonia can the categorized into two distinct types:

-         Primary dystonia caused by a disorder in the nervous system. It affects the parts of the brain that are involved in the motor function like basal ganglia and gamma-amino butyric acid

-         Secondary dystonia caused by brain damage or some sort of chemical imbalance

At the moment there is no cure known for dystonia, but treatment can be followed in order to minimize the symptoms. Medications for dystonia include: diphenhydramine, benzatrepine and muscle relaxers. Cannabidirol, a non-psychoactive component found in cannabis sativa (also known as cannabis) experimented in a six week study proved to reduce the symptoms of all the patients by up to 50%.

Alternative treatments include:

-         Physical exercises

-         Rest

-         Meditation techniques that reduce stress

Although physical exercises may bring some relief, some form s of focal dystonia do not respond well to it and can even worsen the symptoms.

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