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January 11, 2000

Shortened cortical silent period in facial muscles of patients with cranial dystonia

January 11, 2000 issue
54 (1) 130


Objective: To study the cortical silent period (SP) in the orbicularis oculi and perioral muscles in 23 patients with cranial dystonia and 10 age-matched control subjects.
Methods: High-intensity magnetic stimuli were delivered with a round coil centered at the vertex during a maximal muscle contraction. Electromyographic (EMG) responses were recorded from surface electrodes placed over the orbicularis oculi and perioral muscles.
Results: SPs elicited in upper and lower facial muscles had a similar duration. Facial muscle SPs were significantly shorter in patients than in control subjects. Patients with blepharospasm plus oromandibular dystonia had shorter SPs than patients with blepharospasm alone. Although patients’ recordings showed reduced voluntary and evoked EMG activity, neither activities correlated with the duration of the SP.
Conclusions: Silent period (SP) shortening depends neither on the level of electromyographic activity nor on segmentary mechanisms. The shortened SP in facial muscles reflects hypoexcitability of cortical inhibitory neurons in cranial dystonia.

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Published In

Volume 54Number 1January 11, 2000
Pages: 130
PubMed: 10636138

Publication History

Received: May 3, 1999
Accepted: July 29, 1999
Published online: January 11, 2000
Published in print: January 11, 2000


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Affiliations & Disclosures

A. Currà, MD
From the Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche (Drs. RomanielloBerardelli, Cruccu, and Manfredi), Università di Roma “La Sapienza”; and the Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed (Drs. Currà, Berardelli, and Manfredi), Pozzilli, Isernia, Italy.
A. Romaniello, MD
From the Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche (Drs. RomanielloBerardelli, Cruccu, and Manfredi), Università di Roma “La Sapienza”; and the Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed (Drs. Currà, Berardelli, and Manfredi), Pozzilli, Isernia, Italy.
A. Berardelli, MD
From the Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche (Drs. RomanielloBerardelli, Cruccu, and Manfredi), Università di Roma “La Sapienza”; and the Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed (Drs. Currà, Berardelli, and Manfredi), Pozzilli, Isernia, Italy.
G. Cruccu, MD
From the Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche (Drs. RomanielloBerardelli, Cruccu, and Manfredi), Università di Roma “La Sapienza”; and the Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed (Drs. Currà, Berardelli, and Manfredi), Pozzilli, Isernia, Italy.
M. Manfredi, MD
From the Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche (Drs. RomanielloBerardelli, Cruccu, and Manfredi), Università di Roma “La Sapienza”; and the Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed (Drs. Currà, Berardelli, and Manfredi), Pozzilli, Isernia, Italy.


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Alfredo Berardelli, Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche (Box no. 41), Viale dell’Università 30, I-00185 Rome, Italy.

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