Defective inhibition and inter-regional phase synchronization in pianists with musician's dystonia: An EEG study

Authors

  • María Herrojo Ruiz,

    1. Institute of Music Physiology and Musician's Medicine, Hanover University of Music and Drama, Hanover 30161, Germany
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  • Patricia Senghaas,

    1. Institute of Music Physiology and Musician's Medicine, Hanover University of Music and Drama, Hanover 30161, Germany
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  • Michael Grossbach,

    1. Institute of Music Physiology and Musician's Medicine, Hanover University of Music and Drama, Hanover 30161, Germany
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  • Hans-Christian Jabusch,

    1. Institute of Music Physiology and Musician's Medicine, Hanover University of Music and Drama, Hanover 30161, Germany
    2. Institute of Musicians' Medicine, Dresden University of Music “Carl Maria von Weber”, 01067 Dresden, Germany
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  • Marc Bangert,

    1. Institute of Music Physiology and Musician's Medicine, Hanover University of Music and Drama, Hanover 30161, Germany
    2. Department of Neuropsychology, Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig 04103, Germany
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  • Friedhelm Hummel,

    1. Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg 20246, Germany
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  • Christian Gerloff,

    1. Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg 20246, Germany
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  • Eckart Altenmüller

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Music Physiology and Musician's Medicine, Hanover University of Music and Drama, Hanover 30161, Germany
    • Institute of Music Physiology and Musician's Medicine, Hanover University of Music and Drama, Hohenzollernstrasse 47, Hanover 30161, Germany
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Abstract

Recent neurophysiological studies have associated focal-task specific dystonia (FTSD) with impaired inhibitory function. However, it remains unknown whether FTSD also affects the inhibition (INH) of long-term overlearned motor programs. Consequently, we investigated in a Go/NoGo paradigm the neural correlates associated with the activation (ACT) and inhibition of long-term overlearned motor memory traces in pianists with musician's dystonia (MD), a form of FTSD, during a relevant motor task under constraint timing conditions with multichannel EEG. In NoGo trials, the movement related cortical potentials showed a positive shift after the NoGo signal related to inhibition and was significantly smaller over sensorimotor areas in musicians with MD. Further, we observed an increase at 850–900 ms in the power of beta oscillations which was significantly weaker for the patient group. The role of the inter-electrode phase coupling in the sensorimotor integration of inhibitory processes turned out to be the most relevant physiological marker: the global phase synchronization during INH exhibited an increase between 230 and 330 ms and 7–8 Hz, increase which was significantly smaller for pianists with MD. This effect was due to a weaker phase synchronization between the supplementary motor cortex and left premotor and sensorimotor electrodes in patients. Thus, our findings support the hypothesis of a deficient phase coupling between the neuronal assemblies required to inhibit motor memory traces in patients with MD. EMG recorded from the right flexor pollicis longus muscle confirmed that patients with MD had a disrupted INH in NoGo trials. Hum Brain Mapp 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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