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Keywords:

  • focal hand dystonia;
  • mutual information;
  • functional connectivity;
  • sensorimotor integration

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate functional connectivity in focal hand dystonia patients to understand the pathophysiology underlying their abnormality in movement. We recorded EEGs from 58 electrodes in 15 focal hand dystonia patients and 15 healthy volunteers during rest and a simple finger-tapping task that did not induce any dystonic symptoms. We investigated mutual information, which provides a quantitative measure of linear and nonlinear coupling, in the alpha, beta, and gamma bands. Mean mutual information of all 58 channels and mean of the channels of interest representative of regional functional connectivity over sensorimotor areas (C3, CP3, C4, CP4, FCz, and Cz) were evaluated. For both groups, we found enhanced mutual information during the task compared with the rest condition, specifically in the beta and gamma bands for mean mutual information of all channels, and in all bands for mean mutual information of channels of interest. Comparing the focal hand dystonia patients with the healthy volunteers for both rest and task, there was reduced mutual information in the beta band for both mean mutual information of all channels and mean mutual information of channels of interest. Regarding the properties of the connectivity in the beta band, we found that the majority of the mutual information differences were from linear connectivity. The abnormal beta-band functional connectivity in focal hand dystonia patients suggests deficient brain connectivity. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society