Dystonia has many causes. It may be genetic as in certain early-onset generalised dystonias, dopa-responsive dystonia and myoclonus dystonia. It can also be acquired (where there is a known cause), from a brain injury as in hemidystonia or cerebral palsy, from certain medications that affect the brain or as a result of stroke or trauma.

However, more often the cause of dystonia is not known (this is called idiopathic dystonia). Where a cause is not found it is usually accepted that there is a problem with the way certain areas of the brain, such as the basal ganglia and the cerebellum, control movement.

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Brochure – Genetics in Dystonia
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Page last reviewed 24 November 2021