Sept. 16, 2018 (New York) – Today, Over 500 people gathered at the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation’s 4th Annual Bronx Zoo Walk. Participants included people living with dystonia and their families. New Yorker, Pamela Sloate, who underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for her dystonia, hosted the event. DBS is a neurosurgical procedure used to treat a variety of neurological disorders, including movement disorders such as dystonia. Electrodes are implanted in the area of the brain associated with dystonia and battery-powered stimulators — essentially brain pacemakers — are surgically implanted in the chest to deliver electrical stimulation to the brain. As a result of this procedure, the twisting motions in Pamela’s legs and feet have disappeared and she no longer uses a walker.
Dystonia is characterized by persistent or intermittent muscle contractions causing abnormal, often repetitive, movements, postures, or both. The movements are usually patterned and twisting, and may resemble a tremor. There are multiple forms of dystonia, and dozens of diseases and conditions may include dystonia as a symptom. No fewer than 300,000 people are affected in the United States and Canada alone.
Today’s event raised awareness of dystonia and raised funds for research. Abbott, Allergan, Columbia University Medical Center, Ipsen, Macy’s, Medtronic, Merz, Montefiore Medical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, NYU Langone Medical Center, North Jersey Brain & Spine Center, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, U.S. WorldMeds, and Whole Foods sponsored the event.
Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder affecting an estimated 250,000 Americans, one-third children. Dystonia causes uncontrollable muscle spasms that twist the body into involuntary movements and painful postures. It can strike children of all ages and disables adults in their primes. Dystonia is frequently misdiagnosed or goes undiagnosed, sending patients on a prohibitive search for answers.
About the DMRF
The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is a 501©(3) non-profit dedicated to advancing research for improved dystonia treatments and ultimately a cure, promoting awareness, and supporting the well-being of patients and families. They can be reached at 800-377-DYST or www.dystonia-foundation.org