Early-Onset Generalized Dystonia

Quick Facts

  • Early-onset generalized dystonia is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that begin in the limbs. Symptoms may spread from the site of onset, and cause twisting contractions of other parts of the body.
     
  • Early onset dystonia can be broadly divided into two major categories: DYT1 early onset generalized dystonia and non-DYT1 early onset dystonia.
     
  • DYT1 generalized dystonia is known to be caused by a specific mutation in the DYT1 gene. DYT1 dystonia is primary.
     
  • However, not all primary generalized dystonias that begin in childhood are caused by the mutation in the DYT1 gene. These forms are simply referred to as non-DYT1 generalized dystonia.
     
  • Treatments may include physical therapy, oral medications, botulinum toxin injections, complementary therapies (including regular relaxation practices), and various forms of surgery.
     
  • Non-DYT1 generalized dystonia may be primary or secondary.
     
  • Features such as cognition, strength, and the senses, including vision and hearing, are normal.
     
  • While is a chronic disorder, the overwhelming majority of cases are not fatal.

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