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How is dystonia diagnosed?

There are various forms of dystonia, and there is no set test to diagnose the condition. In most cases, your doctor will use your symptoms and medical history to make the diagnosis. Doctors may also perform other tests to check for other possible causes of your symptoms.

At this time, there is no single test to confirm the diagnosis of dystonia. Instead, the diagnosis rests in a doctor's ability to observe symptoms of dystonia and obtain a thorough patient history. In order to correctly diagnose dystonia, doctors must be able to recognize the physical signs and be familiar with the symptoms. In certain instances, tests may be ordered to rule out other conditions or disorders. The kind of specialist who typically has the training to diagnose and treat dystonia is a movement disorder neurologist.

The dystonia diagnostic process may include the following:
  • patient history
  • family history
  • laboratory studies, such as blood and urine tests, and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid
  • electrical recording techniques, such as electromyography (EMG) or electroencephalography (EEG)
  • genetic testing for specific forms of dystonia
  • other tests and screenings intended to rule out other conditions or disorders

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.