Background: Surround inhibition is a system that sharpens sensation by creating an inhibitory zone around the central core of activation. In the motor system, this mechanism probably contributes to the selection of voluntary movements, and it seems to be lost in dystonia. Objectives. To explore if sensory information is abnormally processed and integrated in focal hand dystonia (FHD) and if surround inhibition phenomena are operating during sensory-motor plasticity and somatosensory integration in normal humans and in patients with FHD. Methods. We looked at the MEP facilitation obtained after 5 Hz repetitive paired associative stimulation of median (PAS M), ulnar (PAS U), and median + ulnar nerve (PAS MU) stimulation in 8 normal subjects and 8 FHD. We evaluated the ratio MU/(M + U) ∗ 100 and the spatial and temporal somatosensory integration recording the somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) evoked by a dual nerve input. Results: FHD had two main abnormalities: first, the amount of facilitation was larger than normal subjects; second, the spatial specificity was lost. The MU/(M + U) ∗ 100 ratio was similar in healthy subjects and in FHD patients, and the somatosensory integration was normal in this subset of patients. Conclusions. The inhibitory integration of somatosensory inputs and the somatosensory inhibition are normal in patients with focal dystonia as well as lateral surrounding inhibition phenomena during sensory-motor plasticity in FHD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology