What are the Symptoms?

Dystonia can affect many different parts of the body, and the symptoms are different depending upon the form of dystonia. Early symptoms may include a foot cramp or a tendency for one  foot to turn or drag– either sporadically or after running or walking some distance– or a worsening in handwriting after several lines. In other instances, the neck may turn or pull involuntary, especially when the person is tired or under stress. Sometimes both eyes might blink rapidly and uncontrollably; other times, spasms will cause the eyes to close. Symptoms may also include tremor or difficulties speaking. In some cases dystonia can affect only one specific action, while allowing others to occur unimpeded. For example a musician, may have dystonia when using her hand to play an instrument, but not when using the same hand to type. The initial symptoms can be very mild and may be noticeable only after prolonged exertion, stress, or fatigue. Over a period of time, the symptoms may become more noticeable or widespread; sometimes, however, there is little or no progression.