Magic Strikes Twice: A New Breakthrough Connects Dystonia and Parkinson’s

We recently posted an article discussing the positive connections between dystonia and depression (and Harry Potter, oddly enough).

That was just one instance where researchers were finding interesting new treatment opportunities by studying related diseases.

Now, they’re at it again: with Parkinson’s.

People have long considered Parkinson’s and dystonia sister diseases, part of a close-knit family of movement disorders. Turns out, they’re closer than we first thought.

Svjetlana Miocinovic, MD, PhD, had an idea: What if there was an overlap between a brain showing dystonia symptoms and one with Parkinson’s?

So begins the search for an answer—right in time for the American Neurological Association 2015 Annual Meeting.

And what did they find?

People with Parkinson’s and dystonia share more than a few symptoms. It just so happens that there is indeed a physiologic reason explaining why both diseases respond in a similar way to certain therapeutic stimulation within one isolated part of the brain.

It sounds small, I know, but it’s actually huge.

The exact cause of dystonia isn’t always clear—and the treatment course of any rare disease can be a little hit or miss—so any research that provides more answers behind the mechanisms of the disease means more chances to help people.

Something works for Parkinson’s? Maybe it’ll work for dystonia? And vice versa!

Like siblings sharing clothes, the medical community is discovering new ways for the body to share solutions.

Read the whole scientific article at Neurology Adviser.

Kiki Jones

Kiki Jones

Kiki’s family loves to say, “People are like a baking project. At some point, they’re just done and they’re who they’re going to be.” Well, Kiki still has some baking to do, and she learns a lot from her loved ones living with chronic conditions, including mental illness and Behcet’s disease. With a BA in English, she’s using her skills to tell the stories of people like them.

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