Infant Dystonia Disorder Symptoms

Infant Dystonia Disorder SymptomsDystonia is a muscular condition that can develop in infants not long after birth. This is a disorder where muscles start to contract without warning while the person suffering has no control over their movements. This often results in repetitive movements, unusual postures and constant pain and exhaustion in the impacted area.

This condition is often caused by hypoxia, a condition where oxygen is unable to reach the brain. The brain will become weak without oxygen as its cells begin to die off.

Many infant dystonia disorder symptoms are from an infection caused by negligence in a hospital. In rare cases, an adverse reaction to certain drugs used on children to control other physical problems may be a factor. Lead and carbon monoxide poisoning can result in infant dystonia disorder as well although those causes rarely happen.

This condition is often misinterpreted as cerebral palsy in that both disorders entail hypoxia and repetitive muscle movements. However, infant dystonia does not entail any cognitive disabilities like what cerebral palsy has.

This condition may also be genetic as a mutation in the DYT1 gene may cause a child to develop dystonia. However, the effects caused by that gene are extremely variable as not all people who have mutations in this gene will be at risk of developing dystonia.

Infant dystonia disorder symptoms are diagnosed through an MRI or CT scan. This is to identify activities in the brain and how they are impacting muscular movements.

Uncontrollable Movements

The most commonplace symptom of infant dystonia disorder is the child’s inability to control their movements. Examples of this include a leg or arm constantly twitching or consistent shaking in a limb. Such motions will cause fatigue in particular muscles and result in the body engaging in unusual postures to try and keep such movements under control. The muscles may not develop properly and will not grow as well as others.

These movements typically occur on one side of the body and may become stabilized over the course of a few years. Injuries or other concerns that may impact the body could cause these movements to become worse and more persistent.

Dragging a Leg

An infant may start dragging a leg while crawling or making other movements. This entails one leg possibly making normal movements while crawling as the other is unable to keep up. This often results in a lack of balance or an impaired ability to move forward. It may also become harder for the impacted leg to develop muscle coordination skills.

Cramping in the Foot

The foot may also develop severe cramps that keep it from moving properly. The infant will become extremely sensitive to any touching or other form of pressure on the foot.

Pulling Sensations in the Neck

The neck can suffer from a pulling sensation that is consistent and will not go away. This sensation entails stress in the neck that can keep the child from turning its head without pain. Such sensations are more likely to develop when the child is suffering from an intense amount of physical stress.

Repetitive Blinking

The infant’s eyelids may also be affected as they could consistently blink while the child has no ability to control it. The eyes will constantly blink and potentially keep the child from having a clear range of vision. This can also cause fatigue in the eyes and potentially inhibit a child’s sleep habits.

Can They Spread?

Infant dystonia disorder symptoms often manifest themselves starting in the limbs. The symptoms may progressively move into other parts of the body. The intensity of those symptoms can change throughout the day and can result in serious physical trauma if they are too intense.

All surroundings in a birthing center must be inspected and monitored to prevent infant dystonia disorder symptoms from potentially developing.


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