September 2018: Dystonia Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Dystonia Awareness Month will raise public awareness and understanding of the disorder of dystonia, a disorder with numerous manifestations, affecting people of all ages, races, genders and backgrounds; and,

WHEREAS, Dystonia Awareness Month will also foster understanding of the impact the various forms of dystonia have on those affected as well as their families; and,

WHEREAS, dystonia is a neurological disorder presenting itself in various forms, characterized by involuntary muscle contractions causing abnormal, often repetitive, movements and/or postures. Symptoms may impede the ability to walk (as in generalized dystonia or limb dystonia), control the posture of the head (as in cervical dystonia), speak (as in spasmodic dysphonia or oromandibular dystonia), see (as in blepharospasm), and/or write (as in hand dystonia). Trauma may lead to the onset of dystonia; and,

WHEREAS, there are limited treatments for dystonia and currently no cure; and,

WHEREAS, dystonia is commonly misdiagnosed, delaying access to appropriate medical care for those who are affected; and,

WHEREAS, countless friends, loved ones, spouses, and caregivers must shoulder the physical, emotional, and financial burdens that dystonia causes; and,

WHEREAS, the severity of the symptoms of dystonia and the limited public awareness of the disease can cause patients to be isolated; and,

WHEREAS, the dystonia community is uniting to cooperate on awareness efforts throughout September. The Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation, DySTonia, Inc., the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association, and the National Spasmodic Torticollis Association are all dedicated to conducting research to find treatments and a cure for dystonia, fostering public awareness and understanding of the disorder, educating patients and their families about dystonia to improve their treatment and care, and providing support and encouraging people to become advocates. They sponsor the annual patient education conferences, school-based educational programs and local events to raise funds for dystonia research, education, advocacy, and awareness;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 2018 as Dystonia Awareness Month in Michigan.