Forms of Dystonia

There are many types of dystonia.

And many diseases and conditions may include dystonia as a symptom. 

Dystonia is classified by:
1. Clinical characteristics such as age of onset, body distribution, nature of the symptoms, and associated features such as additional movement disorders or neurological symptoms, and
2. Cause (which includes changes or damage to the nervous system and inheritance). Doctors use these classifications to guide diagnosis and treatment.

Forms of dystonia include:

  • Focal dystonias - Affecting a specific group of muscles or body part:

Blepharospasm: Dystonia that affects the muscles of the eyelids and brow.

Cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis): Dystonia that affects the neck and sometimes the shoulders.

Oromandibular dystonia (cranial dystonia): Symptoms include forceful contractions of the face, jaw, and/or tongue.

Spasmodic dysphonia (laryngeal dystonia): Dystonia that affects the vocal cords.

Hand dystonia (writer's cramp): Dystonia of the fingers, hand, and/or forearm.

Lower limb dystonia: Dystonia of the leg, foot, and/or toes.

Trauma: Dystonia may follow trauma to the head and/or to a specific body area.

Drug-induced (Tardive dystonia & dyskinesias): Specific drugs are capable of causing dystonia.

Toxins: Several rare toxins are known to cause movement disorders.

Neurological and metabolic disorders: Dystonia can occur as a symptom of multiple disorders.

Accelerating Research & Inspiring Hope

The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) has served the dystonia community since 1976. Join us in our global effort to find a cure.