Dystonia Specialist Chickasha OK

Dystonia is the third most common movement disorder, next to Parkinson’s disease and Tremor, affecting at least 300,000 people in North America. It is a neurological condition that results in sustained and involuntary contractions of opposing muscles, which leads to spasmodic movements, twisting, and abnormal stances.

Fadi F Nasr
(405) 748-3300
4120 W Memorial Rd
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialty
Neurosurgery

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Charles H Morgan
(405) 644-5160
4221 S Western
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialty
Neurology

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Emily D Friedman, MD
(405) 945-4900
3433 NW 56th St Ste 750
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Georgetown Univ Sch Of Med, Washington Dc 20007
Graduation Year: 1981

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James Edward Duncan, MD
(405) 447-1096
1125 N Porter Ave Ste 300
Norman, OK
Specialties
Neurology, Emergency Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 1978
Hospital
Hospital: Norman Regional Hospital, Norman, Ok
Group Practice: Norman Neurology Inc

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Kent Ragan Smalley, MD
(405) 377-6378
609 S Kelly Ave Ste D2
Edmond, OK
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 1991

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Rodney Lee Myers
(918) 560-3823
1245 S Utica Ave
Tulsa, OK
Specialty
Neurology

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Mariana Georgeta Varga
(405) 271-2265
711 Stanton L Young Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialty
Neurology

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William B Schueler, MD
(405) 271-4912
1000 N Lincoln Blvd Ste 400
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2004

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Timothy C Ownbey, DO
(918) 335-2211
Bartlesville, OK
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Ok State Univ, Coll Of Osteo Med, Tulsa, Ok 74107
Graduation Year: 1996
Hospital
Hospital: Jane Phillips Med Ctr, Bartlesville, Ok

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Kalarickal J Oommen
(405) 271-3635
711 S L Young Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK
Specialty
Neurology

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Life with Dystonia

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By Ellen L. Weisberg, PhD

Dystonia is the third most common movement disorder, next to Parkinson’s disease and Tremor, affecting at least 300,000 people in North America. It is a neurological condition that results in sustained and involuntary contractions of opposing muscles, which leads to spasmodic movements, twisting, and abnormal stances. Like Parkinson’s disease, dystonia is believed to be due to an abnormality in the basal ganglia of the brain, where movement is controlled.

The symptoms of dystonia first surfaced when I was in the middle of a radio shift, getting ready to record what I thought would be another effortless 30-second broadcast in a string of reports. Halfway through it, the left side of my mouth started twisting inward, making it difficult for me to talk. At the time, I remember wondering if there was something with my delivery style that had- over time- become subtly different… Was my chair too high or too low and I was straining my neck to get to the microphone? Did it have to do with the amount of gesturing I was doing with my hands when I talked?

As time went on, though, the difficulties I was having with my broadcasting increased, and getting the job done comfortably and in a timely fashion was becoming more and more of a struggle. My coworkers thought that maybe I was having sudden “stage fright,” or that it was simply stress that was causing this, since my conversational speech away from the microphone seemed normal. It was only when I saw a neurologist that the situation became clearer: I was diagnosed with a “focal dystonia,” which targets a specific part of the body and usually afflicts people at mid-life. My condition, “task- specific oromandibular dystonia,” causes the jaw to either be clamped shut or held open and is brought on at least in part by repetitive movements. I had been doing two and a half years of daily broadcasting for hours on end, repeating similar phrases and articulating in a way that was different from my regular, away-from-the-microphone speech. I tried to return to broadcasting several times when the symptoms of the dystonia had temporarily quieted down, only to have to quit again when the condition would relapse. The symptoms eventually slipped over into my conversational speech, and there were times they were so debilitating that I thought I’d never be able to hold a normal conversation again.

I had consulted a second neurologist who prescribed Artane, an anticholinergic agent that improves muscle control in Parkinson’s patients. After a brief honeymoon, “fool’s gold”-kind of experience with the drug that lasted only a few days during which my speech seemed more effortless, the Artane lost its effects. My neurologist also tried administering Botox injections on the side of my mouth where muscles were twisting in such a way as to make speaking difficult. However, it was shortly after the injections that the condition relapsed to the point where I could barely talk at all. Continuing...

Author: Ellen L. Weisberg, PhD

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