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Dystonia

 

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Please call (804) 360-4669 to schedule an appointment.

The VCU Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Center offers specialized evaluation and treatment services for dystonia.  This is an interdisciplinary program providing consultations to meet our patients’ individual needs. We strive to integrate expert clinical care with clinical research that advances knowledge in dystonia. 

Our care team will create an individualized treatment plan for each patient, which will be shared with your primary physician and any local care providers to help coordinate ongoing follow-up. The team is available to assist patients and families assess the pros and cons of surgical treatments, medications, and other non-medication treatments, to find the best treatment plan for each person.

There are also opportunities to participate in dystonia clinical research projects.

Interdisciplinary evaluation

The VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center interdisciplinary evaluation allows patients to access sub-specialty care providers in one location. This evaluation will include assessments by the professionals described below, and will result in a comprehensive treatment plan that will address each individual's needs. This treatment plan will be shared with other healthcare providers managing a patient's care.

  • Movement Disorder Neurology
    • The movement disorder neurologist evaluation includes assessment of symptoms, including non-motor features.
  • Clinical Neuropsychology [PDF]
    • The neuropsychologist examines thinking skills such as attention, speed of thinking, visual and language skills, learning and memory, problem-solving, reasoning, and other brain and behavior functions including mood and quality of life.
  • Neurosurgery
  • Physical Therapy
    • The physical therapist evaluates conditioning, balance, coordination and motor skills.
  • Speech Therapy
    • The speech therapist evaluates speaking and swallowing.

As part of VCU Medical Center, our patients have access to other services as recommended by our team.

Clinical research

Our clinical research projects are conducted in the same building as clinical appointments.

View our current projects.

For more information, contact Ginger Norris, MGC virginia.norris@vcuhealth.org or (804) 628-1820.

What is dystonia?

Dystonia is a movement disorder that causes muscles to contract uncontrollably. It can cause the affected body part to twist involuntarily, which results in repetitive movements and abnormal postures. One muscle, a group of muscles, or the entire body can be affected. The movements can sometimes be painful, and some individuals may have a tremor or other neurologica features.

There are three different types of dystonia:

  • Primary dystonia
    • Idiopathic dystonia that does not have a clear cause
    • Genetic dystonias that appear to be inherited, symptoms vary widely between members of the same family, and some carriers of the altered gene may not develop dystonia
  • Secondary dystonia results from environmental or other damage to the brain, from exposure to certain medications, or as a symptom of other diseases

Dystonia Resources

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