• Electroencephalogram;
  • Choreoathetosis;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Basal ganglia;
  • Power spectrum


Computerized EEG spectral analyses of depth electrode recordings from striatum (caudate/putamen; CPu), globus pallidus (GP), and parietal cortex (pCtx) were performed before and after dystonic attacks in freely moving mutant dtsz hamsters with paroxysmal dystonia. In these hamsters, sustained attacks of abnormal movements and postures can be reproducibly induced by stress, such as placing the animals in a new environment. Data recorded from mutant hamsters were compared with recordings from age-matched nondystonic control hamsters. The predominant EEG changes in CPu and GP of dystonic hamsters were significant decreases in the highfrequency β2 range and there was a tendency to increase in delta and theta activities. These changes were seen both before and after onset of dystonic attacks, indicating a permanent disturbance of neural activities in the basal ganglia of dystonic animals. No such changes were seen in the pCtx. Furthermore, no epileptic or epileptiform activity was seen in any of the recordings, substantiating a previous notion from cortical and hippocampal recordings that paroxysmal dystonia in these mutant hamsters has no epileptogenic basis. The present finding of abnormal synchronization of neural activity in the CPu and GP of dystonic hamsters adds to the belief that the striatopallidalthalamocortical circuit is the most likely site in which to search for the unknown defect in primary (idiopathic) dystonia. As suggested by this study, quantitative EEG analysis can increase the likelihood of detecting subtle EEG abnormalities in different types of idiopathic dystonia and thereby improves our understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms of this movement disorder.