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Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions across the body due to abnormal brain regulation of muscle activity.

Researchers have been successful in developing rodent models to study the pathophysiology of dystonia due to the many genes associated with the development of this disorder. Emory National Primate Research Center researchers are studying the synaptic plasticity of motor-related brain networks that contribute to dystonia. The same researchers are also working to develop a nonhuman primate model of the disorder.