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Hypotonia - Definition


Hypotonia means a decrease in muscle tone. The origin is usually either nerve damage or myopathy that can be isolated or be part of more global pathologies. Affected muscles will have little or no response to stimuli or stress. It may be the result of neurological diseases or nerve damage, damage to the central nervous system, or muscular damage or myopathies. Hemiplegia as a result of stroke is responsible for hypotonia of limbs on one side of the body. Some drugs, those involved in anesthesia for example, have a muscle relaxing effect and can cause hypotonia. Treatment depends on the cause of the hypotonia. Muscle tone can be improved by physical or occupational therapy exercises.