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Primary (idiopathic) dystonic syndromes 

Primary (idiopathic) dystonic syndromes

Ivan Donaldson

, C. David Marsden

, Susanne A. Schneider

, and Kailash P. Bhatia

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date: 20 May 2022

The origin of the term ‘dystonia’ and history of this group of disorders are outlined below under ‘Generalized Primary Dystonia’. Any definition of dystonia should include reference to abnormal movements and sustained postures typical of this disorder, but exclude other fixed postures. The term has sometimes loosely and erroneously been used to refer to any generalized increase in tone. The following definition has been suggested by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Dystonic Medical Research Foundation: ‘Dystonia is a syndrome of sustained muscle contractions, frequently causing twisting and repetitive movements, or abnormal postures’ (Fahn 1988).

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