September 2021: Dystonia Awareness Month

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


WHEREAS, raising awareness will 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 characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause abnormal, often repetitive movements and/or postures. 


WHEREAS, symptoms may impede the ability to walk (as in generalized dystonia or limb dystonia), control the posture of the head (as in cervical dystonia), affect speech (as in spasmodic dysphonia or oromandibular dystonia), cause visual impairment (as in blepharospasm), and make it difficult to write (as in hand dystonia); and,


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


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


WHEREAS, countless friends, loved ones, spouses, and caregivers must shoulder are also affected by the physical, emotional, and financial burdens impacts of dystonia causes; and,


WHEREAS, the dystonia community is uniting to increase awareness efforts throughout September and is dedicated to conducting research to find treatments and a cure, fostering public awareness and understanding of the disorder, educating patients and their families to improve their treatment and care, as well as providing support and encouraging people to become advocates by sponsoring the annual patient education conferences, school-based educational programs, and local events to raise funds for dystonia research, education, and advocacy;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 2021 as Dystonia Awareness Month in Michigan.