This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. The subproject and investigator (PI) may have received primary funding from another NIH source, and thus could be represented in other CRISP entries. The institution listed is for the Center, which is not necessarily the institution for the investigator. This study is part of a thesis that is based on the assumption that dystonia is not only a basal ganglia dysfunction, but includes a higher order sensorimotor disorder leading to a modulation of parietofrontal cortical activity.
Aim of the present experiment is to investigate the cortical and subcortical activations during the performance of specific motor tasks in order to differentiate between smooth hand movement and ballistic movement with a gradual increase of stop-intervals. This healthy volunteer study aims to create a more specific hand- and finger-task for the study of dystonia patients with fMRI (as an extension of a recent study of P.M. de Vries). As dystonia is characterised by a deficit in appropriate relaxation of muscle contraction during and after purposeful movement, we were particularly interested to study the relation between the condition of interupted ballistic movements with activation in the Basal Ganglia and Supplementary Motor Areas. Specific interest goes out to these two areas because they are believed to be part of the dysfunctional activation pattern in dystonia to. Questions: Which cerebral regions are mostly activated during different task performances? Are the basal ganglia, in combination with specific cortical regions particularly involved in the ballistic movements? How are these results related to results of former studies on dystonia? The results will also serve as new reference point for further research on dystonia.
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