Original Communication

Journal of Neurology

, Volume 257, Issue 7, pp 1092-1098

First online:

An fMRI study of musicians with focal dystonia during tapping tasks

  • Hiroshi KadotaAffiliated withDepartment of Rehabilitation for Sensory Functions, Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with DisabilitiesCourse of Functional Control Systems, Graduate School of Engineering, Shibaura Institute of TechnologyDepartment of Physical and Health Education, Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo Email author 
  • , Yasoichi NakajimaAffiliated withDepartment of Rehabilitation for Sensory Functions, Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities
  • , Makoto MiyazakiAffiliated withDepartment of Rehabilitation for Sensory Functions, Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with DisabilitiesResearch Institute, Kochi University of Technology
  • , Hirofumi SekiguchiAffiliated withDepartment of Rehabilitation for Sensory Functions, Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with DisabilitiesFaculty of Business and Information Sciences, Jobu University
  • , Yutaka KohnoAffiliated withDepartment of Rehabilitation for Sensory Functions, Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with DisabilitiesIbaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences
  • , Masatoshi AmakoAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Defense Medical College
  • , Hiroshi ArinoAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Defense Medical College
  • , Koichi NemotoAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Defense Medical CollegeNational Defense Medical College Research Institute, National Defense Medical College
  • , Naotaka SakaiAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical and Intelligent Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Utsunomiya UniversityDepartment of Orthopedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Yokohama City University

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Abstract

Musician’s dystonia is a type of task specific dystonia for which the pathophysiology is not clear. In this study, we performed functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the motor-related brain activity associated with musician’s dystonia. We compared brain activities measured from subjects with focal hand dystonia and normal (control) musicians during right-hand, left-hand, and both-hands tapping tasks. We found activations in the thalamus and the basal ganglia during the tapping tasks in the control group but not in the dystonia group. For both groups, we detected significant activations in the contralateral sensorimotor areas, including the premotor area and cerebellum, during each tapping task. Moreover, direct comparison between the dystonia and control groups showed that the dystonia group had greater activity in the ipsilateral premotor area during the right-hand tapping task and less activity in the left cerebellum during the both-hands tapping task. Thus, the dystonic musicians showed irregular activation patterns in the motor-association system. We suggest that irregular neural activity patterns in dystonic subjects reflect dystonic neural malfunction and consequent compensatory activity to maintain appropriate voluntary movements.

Keywords

Functional magnetic resonance imaging Musician Dystonia Premotor cortex