Currently, at least 12 types of dystonia can be distinguished on a genetic basis. Advances in the molecular genetics of dystonia have led to the recent identification of a 3-bp deletion in the DYT1 gene, causing early- onset generalized torsion dystonia (TD), and to the detection of mutations in the GTP cyclohydrolase I and the tyrosine hydroxylase genes causing dopa- responsive dystonia (DYT5). A missense change in the D2 dopamine receptor has been shown to be associated with myoclonus-dystonia in one family. In addition, six other dystonia gene loci have been mapped to chromosomal regions, including a locus for a mixed dystonia phenotype (DYT6), one form of focal dystonia (DYT7), two types of paroxysmal dystonia (DYT8, DYT9), X- linked dystonia-parkinsonism (DYT3), and rapid-onset dystonia parkinsonism (DYT12). No positive linkage studies have as yet been reported for autosomal recessive TD (DYT2) and in several other large families with various types of dominantly inherited TD (DYT4). It may be anticipated that the traditional clinical and etiological classifications of dystonia will increasingly be replaced by a genetic one and that the identification of more dystonia genes may lead to a better understanding of these largely nondegenerative disorders.