Disturbed sensorimotor processing during control of precision grip in patients with writer's cramp

Mov Disord. 2000 Sep;15(5):965-72. doi: 10.1002/1531-8257(200009)15:5<965::aid-mds1030>3.0.co;2-0.


The aim of the study was to investigate force regulation in patients with writer's cramp when performing a drawer-opening task using the precision grip. Experimental conditions included intervening load pulses and vibratory manipulations for examining grip force responses to sensory disturbances. The data revealed that grip force was increased in patients with writer's cramp compared with normal subjects, with a stronger modulation in the symptomatic compared with the asymptomatic hand. This denotes a change in force scaling capabilities and most notably for the preferred hand used in manipulative activities. Vibratory stimulation of the extrinsic hand/finger muscles resulted in an increased grip force of both hands in the patients with writer's cramp. The latter was not observed in normal subjects and supports a bilateral dysfunction in sensorimotor integration resulting from focal dystonia. In conclusion, the disturbed regulation of the precision grip during a drawer-opening task is illustrative for the inability of patients with writer's cramp to efficiently control the force output during manipulative activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dystonic Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Hand Strength*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Vibration*