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If hypotonia (decreased muscle tone) is suspected in a newborn baby or young child, they'll be referred to a specialist.

This will usually be a paediatrician (a specialist in treating children) with expertise in disorders of the nerves and nervous system, or a neurologist (a specialist in disorders of the nerves and nervous system).

The specialist will start by asking a number of questions, which are likely to include:

Following the initial assessment, a full physical examination will be carried out and a blood test may be offered.

Other tests that may be recommended include:

In some cases, no underlying cause can be found despite numerous tests. This is sometimes referred to as benign congenital hypotonia.

In this situation, treatment and support can be offered to manage functional difficulties after other causes of hypotonia have been excluded.