Dystonia

Norton Children’s board-certified and fellowship-trained neurologists and neurosurgeons are the leading providers of dystonia care in children in Louisville, Kentucky, and Southern Indiana.

Norton Children’s Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital for the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Our physicians have experience in their fields and are training the next generation of pediatric specialists.

We’ll determine the severity of your child’s dystonia and create a treatment plan that minimizes risk so your child can get back to being a kid again.

What Is Dystonia?

Dystonia is a sustained, abnormal contraction of muscles that causes an abnormal posture in the affected body part. It can happen to any part of the body. It also can involve a single part of the body or can be widespread.

In many cases, we do not know the cause of dystonia. Some forms occur as part of a genetic abnormality. Certain medications also can cause dystonia.

How Is Dystonia Diagnosed?

The diagnosis is based on a description of the movements and a neurological examination. Electromyography and nerve conduction studies can be helpful as well, and our team may recommend them. Imaging studies (MRI of the brain) and certain blood tests may help evaluate for other causes of dystonia.

Dystonia Treatment

Some medications are available to help improve dystonia. Our team’s goal is to improve your child’s comfort, function and quality of life.

When the abnormal movements involve a small area of the body, our team can prescribe botulism toxin injections, which usually are given every three months.

In rare cases of more severe dystonia, our team may discuss surgical options with you. One option includes a deep brain stimulator that a surgeon places in the brain to help interrupt the abnormal brain signals causing the dystonia.

Why Norton Children’s Neurosciences?

  • The Norton Children’s Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is a Level 4 epilepsy center, the highest rating available from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Norton Children’s Hospital has held this designation since 2013.
  • We are the first in Kentucky and among first in the nation to use neurostimulation in a pediatric patient.
  • Regional neurology care is available for children across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. We travel to clinics in Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Corbin, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah, Kentucky; and Evansville, Indiana. We also perform a number of telemedicine visits each week.
  • The specialists with Norton Children’s Neurosciences use state-of-the-art technology to treat epilepsy, uncontrollable seizures and deep brain tumors in children who in the past would not be candidates for surgery, including:
    • Visualase: Technology that allows neurosurgeons to perform MRI-guided laser ablation surgery. Fewer than two dozen pediatric hospitals in the U.S. offer this technology.
    • Surgical Theater: Virtual reality (VR) technology that creates an immersive 3D view of a patient’s brain, allowing neurosurgeons, the patient and family to see inside the skull and brain to get a greater understanding of the condition and impact of potential procedures. Norton Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in the region to use this technology.
  • Dedicated multidisciplinary clinics for brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, spina bifida, craniofacial injuries and disorders, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, spasticity, headache/migraine, autism and neurocutaneous disorders.
  • Our multidisciplinary craniofacial program was the first established in the Midwest.
  • We offer a neurogenetics clinic to evaluate and treat children with neurogenetic syndromes.
  • We have a neuropsychology program that specializes in the evaluation of children and teens with a variety of neurological, neurodevelopmental and medical conditions, including brain tumors and epilepsy.
  • Outpatient neurology facilities in downtown Louisville are equipped with in-office electroencephalography (EEG) capabilities and laboratory services in the same building, creating a streamlined, family-centered environment.
  • We offer the region’s first clinic to treat children with immune-mediated neurologic disorders.
Neuroscience

Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute

Connect with the Norton Children’s neurology team
(502) 588-3650

Connect with the Norton Children’s neurosurgery team
(502) 583-1697

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