About dystonia What is dystonia? What is dystonia? Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that is estimated to affect at least 100,000 people in the UK. It presents with uncontrollable and sometimes painful muscle spasms triggered by incorrect signals from the brain. It is the 3rd most common movement disorder behind Parkinson’s and essential tremor. Dystonia can affect any region of the body including the eyelids, face, jaw, vocal cords, torso, limbs, hands, and feet. It presents differently depending on the region of the body affected and each type has its own clinical name. Dystonia can also affect people at different times in their lives. Dystonia which starts in adult life usually presents in one or two parts of the body while if symptoms start in childhood, it tends to spread across multiple parts of the body and be more generalised. It is usually a lifelong condition, however in most cases it is not life limiting. While currently no cure, there are several treatments available that can help relieve the symptoms and scientists around the world are actively pursuing research toward new therapies.