Secondary Dystonia

Quick Facts

  • Secondary dystonias result from apparent outside factors and can be attributed to a specific cause such as exposure to certain medications, toxins, infections, or stroke. Spinal cord injury, head, and peripheral injury are also recognized contributors to dystonia.
  • Other examples of secondary dystonias include drug-induced dystonias and dystonias associated with cerebral palsy, cerebrovascular disease, cerebral infections and postinfectious states, stroke, encephalitis, brain tumor, and toxins.
  • Secondary dystonia includes dystonia associated with a number of neurological and metabolic diseases.
  • A number of secondary dystonias do not present as pure dystonia, but with a mixture of other neurologic features, such as parkinsonian features like slowness of movement and rigidity.
  • Secondary dystonias may differ from primary dystonias in that symptoms may not disappear during sleep.
  • Treatment is highly customized to the individual and may be directed by what is known about the cause.
  • Treatment may include physical therapy, oral medications, botulinum toxin injections, complementary therapy, and several types of surgery.

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