"Living with a movement disorder can impact not only the individual, but family, friends and careers," noted Tampa resident and spasmodic dysphonia patient Emma Mattes. "Like many others who battle these types of illnesses, I became depressed because I did not understand what was happening to me or how I could fix it, but luckily, treatment has greatly improved my condition and a local support group network has helped restore my self-esteem. I hope that as people become more educated about movement disorders, these conditions will be diagnosed and treated appropriately and quickly." Spasmodic dysphonia is a type of focal dystonia that affects more than 50,000 people in North America, and is characterized by involuntary "spasms" of the vocal cords causing interruptions of speech and affecting the voice quality.
The Life in Motion Movement Disorders Experience Center provides participants with restraining devices, vibrating apparatuses and other tools that simulate daily challenges associated with movement disorders. People "experience" the challenges of living with these disorders first-hand, providing them with a better understanding of the symptoms of movement disorders. In addition, fact sheets will be available that provide background information on the disorders and brochures with information on how patients and family members can discuss these issues with their healthcare providers.
The Movement Disorders Experience Center will be available to the public during a benefit called "A Taste of Broadway" hosted by the USF Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center. The event will include a silent auction, food and wine tasting and a concert performance and costs $75 per person.
"Although much remains to be discovered about movement disord
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