Dystonia is a neurological disorder characterized by sustained, involuntary muscle contractions which cause twisting, repetitive movements or abnormal body postures. The symptoms may be generalized or involve specific body parts (focal dystonia). When dystonia begins in childhood it is usually generalized and can be inherited. Adult onset dystonia usually occurs in a sporadic fashion (not inherited) and usually remains restricted to one body region (focal). Examples of focal dystonia include:
Dystonia can be treated with medications but the benefits are usually modest and there are often bothersome side effects. The current treatment of choice for focal dystonia is botulinum toxin injections into the affected muscles.