Advertisement

How does dystonia affect my nervous system?

Dystonia disrupts the nervous system's ability to allow the brain and the muscles to communicate. The body's ability to control muscle movements is very complicated and involves many areas in the brain. The area of the brain that is believed to be most affected by dystonia is called the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia are a deep region of the brain that monitors the speed of movement and controls unwanted movements. The basal ganglia are responsible for sending signals to the muscles instructing them when to move and when to stop moving. For reasons we don't yet understand, the basal ganglia's instructions to the muscles become irregular and chaotic, resulting in the unwanted muscle movements and contractions.

Not only does the brain send irregular messages to the muscles but the affected muscles send chaotic messages back to the brain. The nervous system is overtaken by a self-perpetuating cycle of abnormal communication. This suggests that the brain and muscles could be retrained to communicate through physical therapy. Rehabilitation is an active area of research that is likely to continue to provide direction for new therapies.

Continue Learning about Dystonia

What is dystonia?
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF)Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF)
Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by persistent or intermittent muscle contractions caus...
More Answers
What are different forms of dystonia?
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF)Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF)
There are many types of dystonia and many diseases and conditions may include dystonia as a symptom....
More Answers
What types of dystonia are task specific?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Occupational dystonia refers to types of dystonia that are often task specific. Occupational dystoni...
More Answers
How is dystonia associated with other diseases and conditions?
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF)Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF)
Dystonia can be associated with numerous diseases and conditions. These include specific vascular co...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.