Alteration of digital representations in somatosensory cortex in focal hand dystonia

Neuroreport. 1998 Nov 16;9(16):3571-5. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199811160-00006.


Focal hand dystonia involves a loss of motor control of one or more digits; it is associated with the repetitive, synchronous movements of the digits made by musicians over periods of many years. Magnetic source imaging revealed that there is a smaller distance (fusion) between the representations of the digits in somatosensory cortex for the affected hand of dystonic musicians than for the hands of non-musician control subjects. The data suggest that use-dependent susceptibility to digital representation fusion in cortex may be involved in the etiology of focal dystonia. A successful therapy for the condition has been developed based on this consideration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dystonia / diagnosis
  • Dystonia / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / cytology
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiopathology*