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Fifteen-minute consultation: Approach to investigation and management of childhood dystonia


Dystonia is a hyperkinetic movement disorder characterised by sustained or intermittent muscle contractions causing abnormal movements, postures or both. Dystonia is a challenging condition to diagnose and treat. Dystonia is often under-recognised in children, particularly in cerebral palsy, and frequently coexists with spasticity. This guide aims to simplify the approach to diagnosis, investigation and treatment of childhood-onset dystonia. The principle of treatment is similar regardless of the underlying aetiology: identification of potential triggers and consideration of both pharmacological and surgical options.

  • dystonia
  • movement disorder
  • cerebral palsy
  • spasticity

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