Dystonia Specialist Huntington WV

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.

Charlotte Teresa Jones, MD
(304) 691-1302
1600 Medical Center Dr Ste 3500
Huntington, WV
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Md Sch Of Med, Baltimore Md 21201
Graduation Year: 1994

Data Provided by:
Islam Mohsen Zaydan, MD
1801 6th Ave
Huntington, WV
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Alexandria, Fac Of Med, Alexandria, Egypt (330-03 Pr 1/71)
Graduation Year: 1995

Data Provided by:
Dr.SURESH KUMAR
(304) 528-4600
5170 US Route 60 # 1
Huntington, WV
Gender
M
Speciality
Neurologist
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.

Data Provided by:
Hossein Sakhai, MD FACS
(304) 522-8266
3006 Staunton Rd
Huntington, WV
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tabriz
Graduation Year: 1956

Data Provided by:
Panos Ignatiadis, MD
(304) 525-6825
PO Box 3107
Huntington, WV
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Athens, Fac Med, Sch Of Hlth Sci, Nat'L & Kapodistrian, Athens
Graduation Year: 1969

Data Provided by:
Mary Say Payne
(304) 691-1787
1600 Medical Center Dr
Huntington, WV
Specialty
Pediatric Neurology

Data Provided by:
Lawrence E Clapp
(304) 429-6755
1540 Spring Valley Dr
Huntington, WV
Specialty
Neurology

Data Provided by:
David Leslie Weinsweig, MD
(304) 525-6825
2860 3rd Ave Ste 10
Huntington, WV
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pittsburgh Sch Of Med, Pittsburgh Pa 15261
Graduation Year: 1985
Hospital
Hospital: Cabell Huntington Hosp, Huntington, Wv; St Marys Hospital, Huntington, Wv
Group Practice: Tri-State Neuroscience Ctr

Data Provided by:
Ijaz Ahmad
(304) 522-1299
2828 First Ave Suite 202
Huntington, WV
Specialty
Neurology

Data Provided by:
Lawrence Edward Clapp, MD
Proctorville, OH
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Oh State Univ Coll Of Med, Columbus Oh 43210
Graduation Year: 1988

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Life with Dystonia

Provided by: 

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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