What is Dyskinesia?
Dyskinesia is defined as abnormal, uncontrollable, involuntary movements. There are many different types of dyskinesia with symptoms that range from minor tics to full-body movements.
Dyskinesia can be a stand-alone condition. However, typically, it is associated with brain injury, antipsychotic medications, or the long-term use of levodopa, a drug involved in the management of Parkinson's disease. Dyskinesia can range from mild to severe and painful, and interfere with normal daily activities. It can also differ in the frequency and the time of day that it occurs.
The symptoms vary from person to person. They can be very mild with a slight movement of the head, arm, or leg. They can also be severe and include multiple parts of the body moving involuntarily. Some of the symptoms of dyskinesia may look like:
• swaying of the body
• bobbing of the head
The most common cause of dyskinesia is damage or injury to the brain.
One of the most important steps in managing dyskinesias is working with a movement disorders specialist. Movement disorder specialists have special training and expertise in treating conditions like Parkinson’s disease and understand the importance of dosing different medications to relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of side effects. Once dyskinesias have occurred, they can be challenging to treat, so preventing them, such as by working with a movement disorders specialist, is paramount.
Dyskinesias tend to worsen with stress, and people can lessen their dyskinesias with stress management, which may include learning relaxation strategies, engaging in exercise, spending time with friends and family, or practicing meditation or yoga.
Here are (8) ways to manage dyskinesia.
1. Talk to your doctor about changing your medication dosage.
2. Adjust the timing of your medication.
3. Take additional medication for your Parkinson's disease.
4. Talk to your doctor about continuous drug infusion.
5. Consider deep brain stimulation.
6. Adjust your diet.
7. Lower your stress level.
8. Exercise aerobically.
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