Welcome to the Dystonia Support & Advocacy Group of San Diego County's Web Page. My name is Martha Murphy and I am the founder and group leader for San Diego County, as well as the DMRF Regional Coordinator for the Pacific and Northwest. I also serve as part-time staff for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) in the role of Brain Bank Liaison and Information Coordinator. I have had Cervical Dystonia since 1975 and our group was formed in 1987, the year I was finally correctly diagnosed after almost 12 years since the onset of my symptoms.

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that causes muscles in the body to contract or spasm involuntarily. These muscle contractions can cause twisting, repetitive and patterned movements as well as abnormal postures. Dystonia is the 3rd most common movement disorder following Parkinson's Disease and Essential Tremor and is thought to affect an estimated 300,000 persons in North America alone including men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds. Dystonia can be genetic or caused by factors such as physical trauma, exposure to certain medications, or other neurological conditions. There is currently no cure for Dystonia, but a variety of treatments are available.


Research is critical to learn the various causes of Dystonia, identify additional treatment options and, ultimately, to discover a cure. Our group is affiliated with both the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) and Dysphonia International. You can reach DMRF at 1-800-377-DYST (1-800-377-3978) or e-mail dystonia@dystonia-foundation.org or log onto their website by clicking here. To contact Dysphonia International, phone (630) 250-4504; e-mail: voice@dysphonia.org or log onto their website www.dysphonia.org Please consider making a charitable donation to support important Dystonia Foundation research advances by clicking here To support Dysphonia International research, please click here.


We welcome persons with ALL forms of Dystonia, as well as your family members, friends, caregivers & others to be part of our support group and to participate in our meetings. Since the Spring of 2020 when we were dealing with the Covid pandemic, we began holding our meetings virtually via Zoom and we have continued to meet virtually ever since. Prior to that we were meeting bi-monthly at Alvarado Hospital but we haven’t resumed meeting in-person yet. Our Zoom meetings are typically on Saturdays from 1-3:00 p.m. Pacific time and are approximately every-other-month with some deviations. We invite guest presenters and we also have Sharing/Discussion meetings with no guest speakers.

This web site will list the dates of upcoming meetings. Also, if you want to e-mail Martha to be included on our group’s e-mail list or if you have questions or need more information, please click here. We also have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dystoniaofsandiego