Dopa-responsive dystonia is a disorder that involves involuntary muscle contractions, tremors, and other uncontrolled movements (dystonia). The features of this condition range from mild to severe. This form of dystonia is called dopa-responsive dystonia because the signs and symptoms typically improve with sustained use of a medication known as L-Dopa.
Mutations in the GCH1 gene are the most common cause of dopa-responsive dystonia. Less often, mutations in the TH or SPR gene cause this condition.
Dopa-responsive dystonia is estimated to affect 1 per million people worldwide. However, the disorder is likely underdiagnosed because the condition may not be identified in people with mild symptoms, or it may be misdiagnosed in people who have symptoms similar to other movement disorders.
When dopa-responsive dystonia is caused by mutations in the GCH1 gene, it is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. In some cases, an affected person inherits the mutation from one affected parent. Other cases result from new mutations in the gene and occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family.
Published Date: May 01, 2012Published By: National Institutes of Health
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