• movement-related cortical potential;
  • oromandibular dystonia;
  • mandibular movement;
  • masticatory muscle;
  • central motor control


Oromandibular dystonia is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary contraction of masticatory and/or tongue muscles. Cortical negative shifts preceding voluntary movements called “movement-related cortical potentials” (MRCPs) reflect a central motor control process. Reduced amplitude of MRCPs has been reported in other types of dystonia. To elucidate whether the abnormality is observed also in oromandibular dystonia, we compared MRCPs associated with mandibular movements in 6 patients with this condition and in 8 normal subjects. Electroencephalograms (EEGs) were recorded from 11 electrodes, and electromyograms (EMGs) were recorded from the masseter muscle and the suprahyoid muscles. The subjects were asked to repeat mouth opening, closing, and left and right lateral mandibular excursions. MRCPs were obtained by averaging the EEG using the EMG onset as the trigger signal. In the patient group, MRCP amplitudes over central and parietal areas for mouth opening and lateral movements were significantly reduced compared to normal subjects. In normal controls, the MRCPs at mouth opening and closing were symmetrically distributed, whereas those at lateral movements showed predominance over the hemisphere ipsilateral to the direction of the movement. This laterality was lost in the patient group. These results suggest impaired cortical preparatory process for jaw movements in oromandibular dystonia. © 2002 Movement Disorder Society