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Mov Disord. 2013 Jun 15;28(7):944-57. doi: 10.1002/mds.25527.

The anatomical basis of dystonia: current view using neuroimaging.

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Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle (ICM) epiniere, Centre de NeuroImagerie de Recherche (CENIR), Paris, France.


This review will consider the knowledge that neuroimaging studies have provided to the understanding of the anatomy of dystonia. Major advances have occurred in the use of neuroimaging for dystonia in the past 2 decades. At present, the most developed imaging approaches include whole-brain or region-specific studies of structural or diffusion changes, functional imaging using fMRI or positron emission tomography (PET), and metabolic imaging using fluorodeoxyglucose PET. These techniques have provided evidence that regions other than the basal ganglia are involved in dystonia. In particular, there is increasing evidence that primary dystonia can be viewed as a circuit disorder, involving the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical and cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathways. This suggests that a better understanding of the dysfunction in each region in the network and their interactions are important topics to address. Current views of interpretation of imaging data as cause or consequence of dystonia, and the postmortem correlates of imaging data are presented. The application of imaging as a tool to monitor therapy and its use as an outcome measure will be discussed.


MRI; PET; basal ganglia; cerebellum; diffusion imaging; dystonia

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