Infant Dystonia Disorder is referred to as the irregular muscle contraction that results to abnormal body postures and slow repetitive movements. However, these involuntary movements are not merely body movements since at times they can be painful. Infant dystonia disorder can either affect a specific muscle, a group of muscles to the entire body. Dystonia is genetic but the major causes of dystonia cases remain unknown.
Infant Dystonia Disorder Symptoms
Infant dystonia disorder affects different body parts at different levels depending on the nature of the disorder. Some of the most common symptoms include foot cramps where one or both feet appear not to coordinate. In some instances, one foot drags or appears uncoordinated or simply moves sporadically. In other instances, infants with dystonia syndrome will have uncoordinated hand muscle movements where they simply get from bad to worse as hand movement proceeds. There are also times that people with dystonia disorder experience involuntary neck movement especially after the infant has made some movement like crawling. Most of the initial signs and symptoms are mild and seen not to affect the body to a greater extent. However, the situation can become worse as the disorder progresses in the body.
Infant Dystonia Disorder Treatment
There is no known treatment for infant dystonia disorder. However, there are several medical alternatives that can be used to slow the progress of the disease in the body such as;
- Botulin toxin: Botulin toxins are the best medical alternatives when it comes to the treatment of mild focal dystonia. Botulin toxins work by preventing muscle cont5ractions on the affected areas improving muscle coordination and movement. Botulin toxins therefore temporarily improve abnormal postures that are characteristic of people with dystonia. A person having botulin injections experience less muscle spasms and the effects of the toxins can be seen a few days after the initial injection and subsequently last to almost a month. However, the frequency of the injections depend on the individual and the level of dystonia (mild or advanced)
- Medications: Different medications used to later neurotransmitters can be used in the treatment of dystonia. However, the said medications have to be approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration as there is a host of related drugs which work counterproductively in the treatment of dystonia. Major drugs used to treat infant dystonia disorder are anticholinergic agents, GABAergic agents and dopaminergic agents.
- Deep brain simulations: Deep brain simulations are used as a treatment alternative to treat dystonia when medications are not very effective in treating the disorder and the side effects are too severe. The process involves implantation of small electrodes in the brain areas that control movement and connecting the said electrodes to a pulse generator. Controlled electricity amounts are then sent to the brain regions that contain dystonic symptoms in order to alter the electric signals that bring about dystonic symptoms. However, this process is labour intensive as it requires the collective input of neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, and neuropsychologists.
- Alternative surgeries: Alternative surgeries that also interrupt the pathways that are responsible for uncoordinated movement can also be used in the treatment of infant dystonia treatment. Such surgeries are aimed at destroying specific parts of the brain such as the thalamotomy and pallidotomy in order to enhance muscle movement triggered from the brain. Most of the patients who undergo such alternative surgery procedures report major improvements after the operation.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy can at times improve muscle coordination among patients with dystonia including the improvement of speech through speech therapy. Some of the key features of physical therapy include stress management techniques and biofeedback for people with infant dystonic disorder.
To learn more about infant dystonia disorder treatment, it is imperative that parents speak directly with a medical professional about the aforementioned and ongoing developments in the treatment and management of this motor skills disorder.