Dystonia Specialist Searcy AR

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.

Bob Wayne Smith, MD
(501) 279-1422
PO Box 197
Searcy, AR
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ar Coll Of Med, Little Rock Ar 72205
Graduation Year: 1966

Data Provided by:
Peggy J Brown
(501) 278-5610
609 Marion St
Searcy, AR
Specialty
Neurology

Data Provided by:
Victor Warren Henderson, MD
(501) 614-2000
4301 W Markham St
Little Rock, AR
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Johns Hopkins Univ Sch Of Med, Baltimore Md 21205
Graduation Year: 1976

Data Provided by:
David Lee Brown, MD
(479) 442-4070
PO Box 9990
Fayetteville, AR
Specialties
Neurology, Sleep Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ar Coll Of Med, Little Rock Ar 72205
Graduation Year: 1977
Hospital
Hospital: Northwest Med Ctr, Springdale, Ar
Group Practice: Neurological Associates

Data Provided by:
David Lawrence Reding
(501) 224-0200
9601 Lile Dr
Little Rock, AR
Specialty
Neurosurgery

Data Provided by:
Peggy Jeane Brown, MD
(501) 278-5610
609 Marion St
Searcy, AR
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Finch U Of Hs/Chicago Med Sch, North Chicago Il 60664
Graduation Year: 1985
Hospital
Hospital: Central Arkansas Hosp, Searcy, Ar; White County Mem Hosp, Searcy, Ar; Arkansas Methodist Hosp, Paragould, Ar
Group Practice: White County Neurology Clinic

Data Provided by:
Door Shang Chan, MD
(501) 305-4577
1120 S Main St
Searcy, AR
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Alberta, Fac Of Med, Edmonton, Alb, Canada
Graduation Year: 1990

Data Provided by:
James Lewis Bruton, MD
(479) 709-7480
1500 Dodson Ave Ste 280
Fort Smith, AR
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ar Coll Of Med, Little Rock Ar 72205
Graduation Year: 1985

Data Provided by:
Kenneth D Eubanks
(870) 931-0655
1513 Marketplace Dr
Jonesboro, AR
Specialty
Neurosurgery

Data Provided by:
James Blair Blankenship, MD
(479) 582-9025
2793 E Millennium Pl Ste 1
Fayetteville, AR
Specialties
Neurological Surgery, Addiction Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ar Coll Of Med, Little Rock Ar 72205
Graduation Year: 1986
Hospital
Hospital: Washington Reg Med Ctr, Fayetteville, Ar
Group Practice: Neurosurgery Center

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

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

Copyright 1999-2009 Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living/Alternative Medicine/InnoVisi...