Focal Dystonia: Definition
Pronounced: Fo-kul dis-tone -ee-uhEn Español (Spanish Version)
Focal dystonia is an irregular movement disorder specific to one part of the body. In dystonia, muscle contractions cause irregular movements, twitches, tics, and twisted or repetitive postures. These may be continuous or off and on. The most common types of focal dystonia are:
- Blepharospasm—an eye twitch
- Cervical dystonia or spasmodic torticollis—affecting the neck
- Segmental cranial dystonia, also known as Meige syndrome—affecting the jaw, tongue and eyes
- Oromandibular dystonia—affecting the jaw
- Spasmodic dysphonia—affecting the vocal cords
- Axial dystonia—affecting the trunk
- Dystonia of the hand/arm, such as writer's cramp
In many cases, the cause of primary dystonia is not known. In others, it may be genetic.
Secondary dystonia is caused by an existing health condition, injury, or genetic disorder. Some of these include:
- Birth injury, such as lack of oxygen
- Reactions to medication
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Other diseases
The Process of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Decreasing Available Oxygen
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedJuly 2013by Rimas Lukas, MD; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.