Neurophysiological insights in dystonia and its response to deep brain stimulation treatment

Exp Brain Res. 2020 Aug;238(7-8):1645-1657. doi: 10.1007/s00221-020-05833-8. Epub 2020 Jul 7.


Dystonia is a movement disorder characterised by involuntary muscle contractions resulting in abnormal movements, postures and tremor. The pathophysiology of dystonia is not fully understood but loss of neuronal inhibition, excessive sensorimotor plasticity and defective sensory processing are thought to contribute to network dysfunction underlying the disorder. Neurophysiology studies have been important in furthering our understanding of dystonia and have provided insights into the mechanism of effective dystonia treatment with pallidal deep brain stimulation. In this article we review neurophysiology studies in dystonia and its treatment with Deep Brain Stimulation, including Transcranial magnetic stimulation studies, studies of reflexes and sensory processing, and oscillatory activity recordings including local field potentials, micro-recordings, EEG and evoked potentials.

Keywords: Dystonia; Gpi DBS; Neurophysiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Deep Brain Stimulation*
  • Dystonia* / therapy
  • Dystonic Disorders* / therapy
  • Globus Pallidus
  • Humans
  • Neurophysiology