CAUSES: Most cases of dystonia do not have a specific cause. Dystonia seems to be related to a problem in the basal ganglia. That's the area of the brainthat is responsible for initiating muscle contractions. The problem involves the way the nerve cells communicate. Acquired dystonia is caused by damage to the basal ganglia. The damage could be the result of: ? Brain trauma ? Stroke ? Tumor ? Oxygen deprivation ? Infection ? Drug reactions ? Poisoning caused by lead or carbon monoxide Idiopathic or primary dystonia is often inherited from a parent. Some carriers of the disorder may never develop a dystonia themselves. And the symptoms may vary widely among members of the same family.