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Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 Nov;115(11):2542-57.

Neuronal activity in the basal ganglia and thalamus in patients with dystonia.

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  • 1Beijing Institute of Functional Neurosurgery, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital University of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the role of abnormal neuronal activity in the basal ganglia and thalamus in the generation of dystonia.

METHODS:

Microelectrode recording was performed in the globus pallidus internus (GPi), ventral thalamic nuclear group ventral oral posterior/ventral intermediate, Vop/Vim) and subthalamic nucleus (STN) in patients with primary dystonia (n=11) or secondary dystonia (n=9) during surgery. Electromyogram (EMG) was simultaneously recorded in selected muscle groups. Single unit analysis and cross-correlations were carried out.

RESULTS:

Three hundred and sixty-seven neurons were obtained from 29 trajectories (GPi: 13; Vop/Vim: 12; STN: 4), 87% exhibited altered neuronal activity including grouped discharges in GPi (n=79) and STN (n=37), long-lasting neuronal activity (n=70) and rapid neuronal discharge (n=86) in Vop/Vim. There were neurons in Vop, GPi and STN firing at the same frequency as EMG during dystonia (mean: 0.39 Hz, range 0.12-0.84 Hz). Significant correlations between neuronal activity and EMG at the frequency of dystonia were obtained (GPi: r2=0.7 (n=31), Vop/Vim: r2=0.64 (n=18) and STN: r2=0.86 (n=17)).

CONCLUSIONS:

Consistent with previous findings of abnormalities observed in Vop/VIM and GPi in relation to dystonia, the present data further show that the altered activity in GPi, specifically in dorsal subregions of GPi, Vop/Vim and STN is likely to be directly involved in the production of dystonic movement. Dystonia-related neuronal activity observed in motor thalamus and basal ganglia nuclei of GPi and STN indicates a critical role of their interactions affecting both indirect and direct pathways in the development of either generalized or focal dystonia.

SIGNIFICANCE:

These data support a central role of the basal ganglia in producing dystonic movements.

PMID:
15465444
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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