Good News About Focal Dystonias

1): Effective therapy is available. Treatment with botulinum toxin is effective in 90% + patients with cervical dystonia and patients with blepharospasm. This drug is given every 3 months (see the section on botulinum toxin therapy).

2): There is absolutely no other significant neurological disorder associated with the development of focal dystonia. We have been treating patients for over 30 years with botulinum toxin and the excellent effect of this drug continues over that period.

3) This form of dystonia is not associated with neurodegeneration (such as Parkinsonism) cognitive impairments or generalised dystonia.

4): Focal dystonias do not become generalized. These focal dystonias are chronic but benign. Once they have developed they tend to remain localized lifelong; the rate of spontaneous remission is low, certainly less than 10%. Sometimes in a minority of patients, after a few years they may spread to a local body part. For example patients with cervical dystonia may develop shoulder movements or a tremor in the hands.