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Dystonia: Part 2 

Dystonia: Part 2
Chapter:
Dystonia: Part 2
Author(s):

Paul E. Greene

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199925643.003.0004
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date: 16 April 2021

Despite clinical and genetic clues, the pathophysiology of dystonia is poorly known. The basal ganglia have long been implicated as involved in the production of dystonia, but more recently other areas of the brain, including the cerebellum, have emerged as possibly being involved in producing this complex symptom. Only a few of the diseases causing dystonia are treatable, but the symptoms may be treatable even if the cause is not. Medications are quite effective in children with dystonia, including anticholinergics, baclofen, and benzodiazepines. Surprisingly, both dopaminergic and antidopaminergic medications may sometimes be effective in treating dystonia. Injections of botulinum toxin that weaken muscles are effective in reducing symptoms when the dystonia primarily affects a small number of muscles. When all else fails, deep brain stimulation and a variety of muscle- and nerve-cutting operations have been used with some success in treating dystonic symptoms.

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