This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Cervical dystonia is a neurological condition characterized by excessive pulling of the muscles of the neck and shoulder resulting in abnormal movements of the head (dystonia). Most commonly, the head turns to one side or the other. Tilting sideways, or to the back or front may also occur. The turning or tilting movements may be accompanied by shaking movement (tremor) and/or soreness of the muscles of the neck and shoulders. Cervical dystonia can occur at any age, but most cases occur in middle age. It often begins slowly and usually reaches a plateau over a few months or years. The cause of cervical dystonia is often unknown. In some cases there is a family history. Several genes have been associated with cervical dystonia, including GNAL, THAP1, CIZ1, and ANO3. Other cases may be linked to an underlying disease (e.g. Parkinson disease), neck trauma, or certain medications. Treatment may include local injections of botulinum toxin, pain medications, benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications), anticholinergics, physical therapy, or surgery.
For more information, visit GARD.