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Fifteen-minute consultation: Approach to investigation and management of childhood dystonia
  1. Eva Bridget Forman1,
  2. Mary D King1,2,
  3. Kathleen M Gorman1,2
  1. 1Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, Children's Health Ireland at Temple Street, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kathleen M Gorman, Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, Children's Health Ireland at Temple Street, Dublin 1, D01 XD99, Ireland; kathleen.gorman{at}


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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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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