Abnormal somatosensory homunculus in dystonia of the hand

Authors

  • William Bara-Jimenez MD,

    1. Human Motor Control Section, Medical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Betehsda, MD
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  • Maria Jose Catalan MD,

    1. Human Motor Control Section, Medical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Betehsda, MD
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  • Dr. Mark Hallett MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Human Motor Control Section, Medical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Betehsda, MD
    • NINDS, NIH, Building 10, Room 5N226, 10 Center Drive, MSC-1428, Bethesda, MD, 20892–1428
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  • Christian Gerloff MD

    1. Human Motor Control Section, Medical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Betehsda, MD
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Abstract

Abnormalities of the sensory system have been proposed as causative factors for dystonia. By mapping the human cortical hand somatosensory area of 6 patients with focal dystonia of the hand, we found an abnormality of the normal homuncular organization of the finger representations in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Although a remote antecedent event or even a developmental anomaly cannot entirely be ruled out, our findings may support the concept that abnormal plasticity is involved in the development of dystonia.

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