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Regaining Motor Control in Musician's Dystonia by Restoring Sensorimotor Organization

Rosenkranz, K; Butler, K; Williamon, A; Rothwell, JC; (2009) Regaining Motor Control in Musician's Dystonia by Restoring Sensorimotor Organization. The journal of neuroscience , 29 (46) 14627 - 14636. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2094-09.2009. Green open access

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Abstract

Professional musicians are an excellent human model of long term effects of skilled motor training on the structure and function of the motor system. However, such effects are accompanied by an increased risk of developing motor abnormalities, in particular musician's dystonia. Previously we found that there was an expanded spatial integration of proprioceptive input into the hand area of motor cortex (sensorimotor organisation, SMO) in healthy musicians as tested with a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) paradigm. In musician's dystonia, this expansion was even larger, resulting in a complete lack of somatotopic organisation. We hypothesised that the disordered motor control in musician's dystonia is a consequence of the disordered SMO. In the present paper we test this idea by giving pianists with musician's dystonia 15 min experience of a modified proprioceptive training task. This restored SMO towards that seen in healthy pianists. Crucially, motor control of the affected task improved significantly and objectively as measured with a MIDI piano, and the amount of behavioural improvement was significantly correlated to the degree of sensorimotor re-organisation. In healthy pianists and non-musicians, the SMO and motor performance remained essentially unchanged. These findings suggest a link between the differentiation of SMO in the hand motor cortex and the degree of motor control of intensively practiced tasks in highly skilled individuals.

Type: Article
Title: Regaining Motor Control in Musician's Dystonia by Restoring Sensorimotor Organization
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2094-09.2009
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2094-09.2009
Language: English
Additional information: This article is from The Journal of Neuroscience and is available to the public to copy, distribute, or display under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Keywords: Focal hand dystonia, Intracortical inhibitory circuits, Muscle tendon vibration, Somatosensory cortex, Writers cramp, Areas 3a, Reorganization, Plasticity, Attention, Movement
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/21537
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