Dystonia

Norton Children’s board-certified and fellowship-trained neurologists are the leading providers of dystonia care 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 are experts in their fields who 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.

What is dystonia?

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

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

Dystonia diagnosis

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 also 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 are given every three months on average.

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

Meet the team

Elizabeth Doll, M.D.

Anna O. Ehret, M.D.

Darren Farber, M.D.

Arpita Lakhotia, M.D.

Debra O’Donnell, M.D.

Michael Sweeney, M.D.

Neuroscience

Contact Us

Connect to the Norton Children’s Hospital Neurology team
(502) 588-3650

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

Revolutionary CAR-T cell therapy for leukemia treatment coming to Louisville

Kids with leukemia in the Louisville area soon will be able to get the next big advance in treatment, a revolutionary immunotherapy known as CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T cells) therapy. In CAR-T therapy, a […]

Read Full Story

Pilot School-based Telemedicine Program available to JCPS students at select schools

Thanks to a new collaboration between Norton Healthcare and Jefferson County Public Schools, students at three schools have access to online medical care while at school. The pilot School-based Telemedicine Program allows a child to […]

Read Full Story

7 questions to ask before your child gets general anesthesia

If your child needs surgery that will involve general anesthesia, it’s important to know that pediatric patients have unique needs.   Their brains and bodies are still developing, and administering anesthesia to pediatric patients is […]

Read Full Story

What you should know about anesthesia for ear tube surgery

Ear tubes and other ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeries are among the most common requiring general anesthesia for children 1 to 3 years old and babies as young as 6 months.   The procedure […]

Read Full Story

What is a neonatologist?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 10 babies in the U.S. are born prematurely. Premature births, also called preterm births, happen when a baby is born before 37 weeks […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.