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Hypotonia (decreased muscle tone) is a symptom rather than a condition. It can be caused by a number of underlying problems, which can either be neurological or non-neurological.

Neurological conditions are those that affect the nerves and nervous system. Hypotonia is most commonly linked to neurological control of muscle tone.

To function normally, muscles depend on signals from motor nerves. These signals can become disrupted at the level of the brain and spinal cord (central hypotonia), or as a result of nerve damage between the spinal cord and muscle (peripheral hypotonia).

Neurological conditions

Neurological conditions that affect the central nervous system and can cause central hypotonia include:

Neurological conditions that affect the peripheral nervous system and can cause peripheral hypotonia include:

Non-neurological problems

Non-neurological problems that can cause hypotonia in newborn babies and young children include:

Hypotonia in later life

Hypotonia can sometimes occur in older children and adults, although this is less common.

It can be caused by some of the problems mentioned above, but other possible causes include:

Weakness and problems with mobility and balance are also common with these conditions.