Basal ganglia and thalamo-cortical hypermetabolism in patients with spasmodic torticollis

G. Galardi, O. Perani, F. Grassi, S. Bressi, S. Amadio, M. Antoni, G. C. Comi, N. Canal, F. Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction - The basal ganglia are thought to be involved in the primary dystonias, largely because of the repeated demonstration of neuropathological changes in these nuclei in the secondary dystonias. A hyperactivity of a network involving basal ganglia has been suggested in experimental animal dystonia. To test this hypothesis in humans, we studied the functional correlates of primary cervical dystonia using [18F]FDG and PET. Material and methods - Regional cerebral glucose metabolism (rCMRglc) was measured in 10 patients with idiopathic torticollis (6 drug-free and 4 drug-naive) and in 15 normal controls, using 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) and positron emission tomography (PET). Results - A significant hypermetabolism in the basal ganglia, thalamus, premotor-motor cortex and cerebellum in the patients compared with normal controls was found. The patients were correctly assigned to their clinical category by a discriminant function analysis with a total accuracy of 96%. Conclusion - The results support the hypothesis that a dysfunction of a subcortical-cortical motor network may play a role in the pathogenesis of focal dystonia, in agreement with the experimental dystonia models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-176
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Basal ganglia
  • Cerebral glucose metablism
  • Idiopathic dystonia
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Spasmodic torticollis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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