Increased volume and impaired function: the role of the basal ganglia in writer's cramp
Kirsten E. Zeuner, Arne Knutzen, Oliver Granert, Julia Götz, Stephan Wolff, Olav Jansen, Dirk Dressler, Harald Hefter, Mark Hallett, Günther Deuschl, Thilo van Eimeren and Karsten Witt
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/brb3.301
We combined structural and functional imaging in 22 writer's cramp patients and 28 matched controls using 3T MRI. With the asymptomatic left hand, all participants learned a complex, sequential, five-element sequence-tapping task as accurate and quickly as possible. While behavior was comparable between groups, the anterior part of the right putamen and the left globus pallidus exhibited reduced blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity in patients during the sequential finger-tapping task. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis showed larger grey matter volume bilateral in the posterior part of the putamen and globus pallidus. The results indicate an impairment of anterior basal ganglia loops involved in producing complex sequential movements of the unaffected hand.