The Dystonia Society would like medical students as our future doctors to learn more about the neurological movement disorder dystonia and earn money in the process.

Dystonia, estimated to affect at least 70,000 people in the UK across all generations from childhood upwards, is a very painful, debilitating and disabling disorder, which lacks the awareness it demands as the 3rd most common movement disorder. For this reason, we are offering prize money of £1500, £1000 and £500 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively. To be eligible, you must write an essay relating to any aspect of dystonia, whether that be treatment of dystonia, diagnosis, pathology, genetics, quality of life, as long as it pertains to dystonia it is eligible for entry. Each essay must be an original piece of work authored by the candidate.

The Dystonia Essay Competition

Eligibility: The competition is open to medical students in their 3rd, 4th and 5th years.

Essay Format: It should be typed in double-spacing in a minimum of 12 point font, illustrated if relevant, maximum 3000 words excluding references. Each page must have a footer to include: page number, candidate's name. References should be relevant and in Vancouver format (as in BMJ).

Please make sure you follow the format above, failure to do so will mean the essay will not be marked.

All essays should be submitted as pdf attachments via email to [email protected] by 1st April 2018. Please mark all essays Dystonia Essay Competition.

Topics: Each essay submitted must relate to an aspect of dystonia and be an original piece of work, authored by the candidate. As long as the content relates to dystonia, specific topics may be diverse, for example:

  • Treatments - is there a cure?
  • Diagnosis, differential diagnosis and classification of dystonia
  • Particular issues for women & children
  • Genetics
  • Pathogenesis and pathophysiology
  • Factors affecting quality of life
  • Perception of dystonia within general population
  • Epidemiology
  • The role of EMG in diagnosis or treatments
  • Effectiveness of "specialised therapies"
  • The role of surgery
  • Non-motor symptoms

The panel of judges will include:

  • Professor Mark Edwards - Professor of Neurology, Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Atkinson Morley Regional Neuroscience Centre St Georges University, London
  • Dr Peter Moore - Senior Lecturer in Neurology, Liverpool
  • Dr Kathryn Peall - Clinical Lecturer, Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University


1st Place - £1500

2nd Place - £1000

3rd Place - £500