Dystonia is a movement disorder that makes muscles contract, sometimes regularly, sometimes randomly. It can cause abnormal, often repetitive, movements, postures or both.
Like others, this disease does not age discriminate; the age grouping is as follows:
- Childhood onset – 0 to age 12
- Adolescent onset – age 13 to 20
- Adult onset – older than age 20
The earlier a person develops symptoms, the more body parts are likely to be involved. So it may help if those symptoms are somehow disrupted ASAP after diagnosis.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a well-established management for the disease in children. According to one study, most children with secondary types of dystonia – including static lesions and progressive disorders – are well served by DBS but do have a reduced response to the treatment.
Adding up the equation: dystonia + children + deep brain stimulation = brain surgery. Whoa! I had to investigate this for myself.The treatment is elective brain surgery where wire leads are implanted to the brain. These leads are attached to a brain pacemaker. Electrical impulses from the pacemaker will help control the inappropriate muscle contractions.
All the electrical impulses are regulated by a remote control. The remote control helps scramble the signals in the brain and change the conversations to improve the symptoms for the child.
A smidgeon of skepticism?
Me too until I watched Dystonia Boy and listened to his claims of DBS making him happy!