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Dystonia, or abnormal, twisting movements of various parts of the body, occur from unknown causes. Common examples include writer’s cramp (focal dystonia) vs. generalized dystonia (involving most of the body). Disabling movements impair quality of life, and new hope has been found in the deep brain stimulation (DBS) technique. Spasticity, or hyper-reactive movements to stimulation, can often result after stroke, spinal cord injury, or brain injury (usually traumatic). Jerking movements affecting walking, use of hands, etc. can result. A drug called baclofen (more effective given in the spinal fluid, via a baclofen pump, to reduce side effects) can offer good relief (see "Treatments & Testimonials").

Last Modified: March 2, 2010

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