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Diagnosis and treatment

Prof. Alberto Albanese (Humanitas Research Hospital, Italy), Prof. Cynthia Comella (Rush University Medical Center, USA)

A much discussed topic in Copenhagen was cervical dystonia, the most frequent focal dystonia in clinical practice with a prevalence of approximately 50 per million. Women are far more frequently affected by this painful chronic condition, characterised by involuntary patterned contractions of cervical musculature, resulting in postural changes of the head, neck, and shoulder. Disease onset peaks in the fourth and fifth decades of life. In up to 25% of the patients, there is a family history of this disorder that is mainly managed by repeated botulinum toxin injections.

Prof. Alberto Albanese (Humanitas Research Hospital, Italy) recounted his historical knowledge on early observations about cervical dystonia, which dates back to Dante and Virgil who met the seers: "Each of them appeared strangely distorted between the chin and the start of the chest, since the head was reversed towards the body, and they had to move backwards, since they were not allowed to look forward." P...

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