The nonprofit Dystonia Medical Research Foundation will hold its first Musician’s Dystonia Summit on March 9 and 10 in New York City, focusing on the neurological disease that targets professional musicians and causes involuntary muscle spasms in hands, fingers, and facial muscles. Musicians whose careers have been affected by the disease include pianist Leon Fleisher and Alex Klein, former principal oboist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Medical experts and musicians will meet for two days of sessions at the Grand Hyatt in New York to explore the current state of research and treatment, with panels and presentations to cover epidemiology, brain imaging, physiology, genetics, management, prevention, and rehabilitative approaches. On March 9 at 8 p.m., there will be a concert featuring musicians who suffer from dystonia, including guitarists David Leisner and Billy McLaughlin and fiddler Ryan Thomson. For more information on the summit, visit

Posted March 6, 2012