Normalizing motor cortex representations in focal hand dystonia

Schabrun, Siobhan M., Stinear, Cathy M., Byblow, Winston D. and Ridding, Michael C. (2009) Normalizing motor cortex representations in focal hand dystonia. Cerebral Cortex, 19 9: 1968-1977. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhn224

Author Schabrun, Siobhan M.
Stinear, Cathy M.
Byblow, Winston D.
Ridding, Michael C.
Title Normalizing motor cortex representations in focal hand dystonia
Journal name Cerebral Cortex   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1047-3211
Publication date 2009-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/cercor/bhn224
Volume 19
Issue 9
Start page 1968
End page 1977
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Abstract Task-specific focal dystonia is thought to have a neurological basis where stereotypical synchronous inputs and maladaptive plasticity play a role. As afferent input is a powerful driver of cortical reorganization, we propose that a period of asynchronous afferent stimulation may reverse maladaptive cortical changes and alleviate symptoms. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), 3 hand muscles were mapped in 10 dystonics and 10 healthy controls. Mapping occurred before and after 1 h of nonassociative stimulation (NAS) to first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor pollicis brevis (APB). Participants performed grip lift, handwriting, and cyclic drawing before and after NAS. Prior to NAS, dystonics had larger maps, and the centers of gravity (CoGs) of the FDI and APB maps were closer together. Dystonics demonstrated impairments in grip-lift, handwriting, and cyclic drawing tasks. Following NAS, map size was reduced in all muscles in dystonic participants and FDI and APB CoGs moved further apart. Among dystonics, NAS produced a reduction in movement variability during cyclic drawing. Thus, 1 h of NAS can reduce the magnitude, and increase the separation, of TMS representational maps. We suggest that these changes reflect some normalization of the representational abnormalities seen in focal dystonia and provide initial, limited evidence that such changes are associated with improvements in circle drawing.
Keyword afferent stimulation
cortical reorganization
motor cortex
musician's dystonia
writer's cramp
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Created: Fri, 04 Feb 2011, 14:56:48 EST