About NSTA - National Spasmodic Torticollis Association

Jay A. Van Gerpen, M.D.

09 Oct

2012 Symposium Guest Speakers

Jay A. Van Gerpen, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic Florida

Dr. Jay Van GerpenDr. Van Gerpen is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic Florida in Jacksonville. Dr. Van Gerpen graduated from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville Tennessee. He completed neurology residency at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center and subsequently completed fellowships in clinical neurophysiology and movement disorders at Mayo Clinic Rochester. He is a board-certified neurologist, clinical neurophysiologist, and electrodiagnostic medicine consultant.

Brief Summary of Presentation

Dr. Van Gerpen will be lecturing on “the medical therapy of cervical dystonia”, which consists primarily of using anti-cholinergics, e.g. trihexyphenidyl, and benzodiazepines, e.g., lorazepam.  Often, they are used in tandem and can be ameliorating; unfortunately, their side effects, e.g., somnolence, dry mouth, constipation, etc. often limit their tolerability.  If the cervical dystonia is secondary to a tardive phenomenon, discontinuing the dopamine-blocking agent is imperative (one should be aware of “hidden” neuroleptics in particular, e.g., GI medications such as metoclopramide).  If the tardive dystonia does not abate, the use of tetrabenazine may be useful.  Though a trial of levodopa is always reasonable in de novo dystonia patients of any age, cervical dystonia is only very rarely levodopa-responsive.”