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Adult-Onset Focal Dystonia and Receiving Disability

Focal Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that is characterized by sustained muscle contractions. These muscle contractions lead to repetitive and twisting movements or abnormal postures. Dystonia may involve different areas of your body and have various causes. As a result of this, diagnosis and classification may be difficult. Dystonia is divided into two big classifications. These categories are determined by how old you are at the time your dystonia begins. If dystonia originates during your youth, you may have an inherited kind of dystonia. Eventually, your signs and symptoms may involve all of your body. The other wide class of dystonia starts in older adults. This type of dystonia usually affects only one area of your body. Most of the time, this is usually your hand, neck or face. There are several different forms of dystonia. Focal dystonia is one of the kinds of dystonia. Focal dystonia involves a localized part or area of your body. Many times, the area of your body that is affected is your hand and/or arm, neck, eyes, vocal cords, mouth and/or jaw. The muscle movements or contractions that result from focal dystonia are involuntary, which means that you have no control over them. They can also be very painful. Adult-onset focal dystonia is one of the forms of focal dystonia. Adult-onset focal dystonia is marked by involuntary spasms of the muscles around your eye. This may mean that your eyes blink rapidly at a blinding rate. Or, adult-onset focal dystonia may involve constant, painful closure of your eyes that leads to functional blindness. Adult-onset focal dystonia is referred to in other ways. It is also known as eye dystonia, benign essential blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm and blepharospasm. Somewhere around 25,000 people in the United States are afflicted with adult-onset focal dystonia. Women are three times as likely to get this disorder as men are. Adult-onset focal dystonia develops most of the time in people who are between the ages of 50 and 60. The specific cause of adult-onset focal dystonia has not yet been found. Researchers think that the cause of adult-onset focal dystonia is associated with the basal ganglion of your brain not functioning the way it ought to. This is the part or area of your brain where messages that start muscle contractions are processed. However, no one knows what leads to this dysfunction taking place. Heredity (genetics) may have a part in causing rare instances of adult-onset focal dystonia.

Risk Factors Increase Adult-Onset Focal Dystonia

There are some risk factors that may increase your likelihood of developing adult-onset focal dystonia. Some of these include:

There are several different signs and symptoms, which you may experience that may indicate that you have adult-onset focal dystonia. Some of these are: