Musician’s dystonia occurs in musicians who have practiced particular complicated movements for years. The muscle spasms are usually painless and generally occur only when playing the instrument.
For the study, researchers applied low-amplitude vibration to the hand muscles in 24 people: six who had musician’s dystonia, six professional musicians with no dystonia, six healthy non-musicians, and six people with writer’s cramp, which is another type of dystonia that occurs in people while they write.
Using transcranial magnetic stimulation, the researchers evaluated the reaction in the sensorimotor area of the brain back to the muscle during vibration of a single hand muscle. In healthy people, the vibration of a muscle increases the amount of brain messages back to the muscle and at the same time reduces the amount of messages to muscles that did not receive vibration. In people with musician’s dystonia, vibration in any one hand muscle increases the amount of messages to all hand muscles. In writer’s cramp, vibration to one muscle has no effect on any muscle.
Now, in an intervention that lasts only 15 minutes, muscle vibration was applied to a thumb muscle, and the participant’s attention was either directed on that muscle itself or away from it. The reaction of the brain’s sensorimotor areas to the muscles was then tested again using transcranial magnetic stimulation.
“Our hope is that stimulation can retrain how the brain responds,” said study author Karin Rosenkranz, MD, with UCL Institute of Neurology in London, United Kingdom.
The study found that the vibration intervention in which subjects had to attend to their thumb muscle tended to restore a more normal pattern in the sensorimotor area of the brain in people with musician’s dystonia. This effect was less pronounced in the people with writer’s cramp.
“More research is needed to see if prolonged use of stimulation can improve hand motor function,” Rosenkranz said. “These results also suggest that the underlying mechanism of the disorder may be different in musician’s dystonia and writer’s cramp.”
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 20,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as epilepsy, dystonia, migraine, Huntington’s disease, and dementia. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit www.aan.com.
Angela Babb | American Academy of Neurology
Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences
15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy