Dystonia Day at Phoenix Zoo on November 17 Supports Research for a Cure

Brain Disorder is Little-Known but Surprisingly Common and Often Misdiagnosed
Phoenix is one of 13 cities hosting a Dystonia Zoo Day to promote awareness.
Phoenix is one of 13 cities hosting a Dystonia Zoo Day to promote awareness.
PHOENIX - Oct. 26, 2018 - PRLog -- Members of the local Dystonia Support Group are joining volunteers across the country to raise dystonia awareness. Steve Swarr developed uncontrollable tremors and twisting in his neck after a childhood injury. He was hospitalized for a year before physicians diagnosed him properly with dystonia. In 2016, Swarr underwent deep brain stimulation, which involves implanting electrodes in his brain and a battery-powered stimulator in his chest wall. Lisa Troub is diagnosed with rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism, a rare movement disorder that causes muscle spasms, tremors, and "pulsating, numbing, loss-of-interest type of pain." Treatment requires injections of medical botulinum neurotoxin into her muscles every three months—up to 14 injections in a single session. Bob Spencer was medically discharged as a US Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman due to dystonia, which caused powerful muscle spasms that forced his head to tilt down toward his chest. He developed involuntary muscles spasms in his vocal cords, which impaired speech. Spencer also underwent deep brain stimulation with life-changing results. Mary Stone experiences powerful, uncontrollable muscle spasms in her neck. It is a constant battle to hold her head steady against the intense muscle contractions that pull her head to one side while turning her face to the other direction. Stone's treatment includes regular botulinum neurotoxin injections and physical therapy.

WHAT: Phoenix is one of 13 cities across the USA to host a Dystonia Zoo Day in 2018. Last year, 12 Zoo Days drew 5,000+ participants. The purpose of this community-building event is to raise dystonia awareness and funds for medical research. Proceeds benefit the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Cost is $25 per adult and $15 for children 12 and under. Fee includes zoo admission, dystonia t-shirt, and refreshments.

Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by twisting, repetitive muscle movements as well as sustained, abnormal postures of the body and limbs. There are many types of dystonia that impact people of all ages and backgrounds. Conservative estimates suggest no fewer than 250,000 Americans are affected.  The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research for improved dystonia treatments and ultimately a cure, promoting awareness, and supporting the well-being of affected individuals and families.

WHEN: Saturday, November 17, 2018. Registration opens at 8:00 AM. Event begins at 9:30 AM.

WHERE: Phoenix Zoo, 455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008

MORE INFO: For more information about Dystonia Day at Phoenix Zoo visit: https://www.dystonia-foundation.org/phoenix-zoo-day

Jessica Feeley
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Location:Phoenix - Arizona - United States
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