Dystonia Specialist Joplin MO

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.

Arthur Steven Daus, MD
(417) 624-7700
Ste 305 1111 McIntosh Cir Dr
Joplin, MO
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Languages
German
Education
Medical School: St Louis Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63104
Graduation Year: 1981
Hospital
Hospital: Freeman Hosp -West, Joplin, Mo; St Johns Reg Medctr, Joplin, Mo
Group Practice: Midwest Neurosurgery Ctr

Data Provided by:
Ahmed Tm Robbie
(417) 782-5500
1905 W 32nd St
Joplin, MO
Specialty
Neurology

Data Provided by:
Christopher R Andrew, MD
(417) 623-3330
1020 McIntosh Cir Ste 201
Joplin, MO
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mo, Columbia Sch Of Med, Columbia Mo 65212
Graduation Year: 1988

Data Provided by:
Hisham Salem Majzoub, MD
(417) 781-4733
2902 Mc Clelland Blvd Ste 7B
Joplin, MO
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: American Univ Of Beirut, Fac Of Med, Beirut, Lebanon
Graduation Year: 1959
Hospital
Hospital: Freeman Hosp -West, Joplin, Mo; St Johns Reg Medctr, Joplin, Mo
Group Practice: Joplin Neurosurgical Assoc Inc

Data Provided by:
Selsa Damaris Watt, MD
2817 Mc Clelland Blvd
Joplin, MO
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: La State Univ Sch Of Med In New Orleans, New Orleans La 70112
Graduation Year: 1996

Data Provided by:
Shari Malini DeSilva
(417) 782-5500
1905 W 32nd St Ste 403
Joplin, MO
Specialty
Neurology

Data Provided by:
Cherylon Ann Yarosh, MD
(417) 782-5500
1905 W 32nd St Ste 403
Joplin, MO
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pa Sch Of Med, Philadelphia Pa 19104
Graduation Year: 1992
Hospital
Hospital: Freeman Hosp -West, Joplin, Mo; Freeman Hosp -East, Joplin, Mo; St Johns Reg Medctr, Joplin, Mo
Group Practice: Neuroscience & Rehabilitation

Data Provided by:
Hish S Majzoub
(417) 781-4733
2902 B Mcclelland Blvd
Joplin, MO
Specialty
Neurosurgery

Data Provided by:
Dr.Arthur Daus
(417) 624-7700
1111 Mcintosh Cir # 305
Joplin, MO
Gender
M
Education
Medical School: St Louis Univ Sch Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1981
Speciality
Neurosurgeon
General Information
Hospital: Freeman Hosp -West, Joplin, Mo
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.

Data Provided by:
Christopher R Andrew
(417) 623-3330
1020 Mcintosh Circle
Joplin, MO
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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