There have been rather significant changes, all for the better, in the classification of dystonia.

Note firstly that the following terms are not of great value, or have been discarded:

A 2013 Consensus Statement improved the previous dystonia classification system and now recommends defining dystonia under two axes4:

Axis 1: Clinical features

Axis 2: Aetiology

The aim of the system is that, once a patient is classified phenomenologically according to the first axis (see figure below), a dystonia syndrome may then be defined, which is diagnostically useful5.


Axis I: Clinical Features: Defining the phenomena associated with dystonia         


Age of onset

Activating Condition

Body distribution

Temporal pattern

Coexistence of other movement disorders, and other neurological manifestations