The mechanisms of movement control and time estimation in cervical dystonia patients

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Traditionally, the pathophysiology of cervical dystonia has been regarded mainly in relation to neurochemical abnormities in the basal ganglia. Recently, however, substantial evidence has emerged for cerebellar involvement. While the absence of neurological "cerebellar signs" in most dystonia patients may be considered at least provoking, there are more subtle indications of cerebellar dysfunction in complex, demanding tasks. Specifically, given the role of the cerebellum in the neural representation of time, in the millisecond range, dysfunction to this structure is considered to be of greater importance than dysfunction of the basal ganglia. In the current study, we investigated the performance of cervical dystonia patients on a computer task known to engage the cerebellum, namely, the interception of a moving target with changing parameters (speed, acceleration, and angle) with a simple response (pushing a button). The cervical dystonia patients achieved significantly worse results than a sample of healthy controls. Our results suggest that the cervical dystonia patients are impaired at integrating incoming visual information with motor responses during the prediction of upcoming actions, an impairment we interpret as evidence of cerebellar dysfunction.

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Original languageEnglish
Article number908741
Number of pages10
JournalNeural Plasticity
Volume2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Copyright © 2013 Pavel Filip et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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