The metabolic topography of essential blepharospasm: A focal dystonia with general implications

M. Hutchinson, T. Nakamura, J. R. Moeller, A. Antonini, A. Belakhlef, V. Dhawan, David Eidelberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine the metabolic topography of essential blepharospasm (EB). Background: EB is a cranial dystonia of unknown etiology and anatomic localization. The authors have used 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and PET with network analysis to identify distinctive patterns of regional metabolic abnormality associated with idiopathic torsion dystonia (ITD), as well as sleep induction during PET imaging to suppress involuntary movements, thereby reducing this potential confound in the analysis. Methods: Six patients with EB and six normal volunteers were scanned with FDG-PET. Scans were performed twice: once in wakefulness and once following sleep induction. The authors used statistical parametric mapping to compare glucose metabolism between patients with EB and control subjects in each condition. They also quantified the expression of the previously identified ITD-related metabolic networks in each subject in both conditions. Results: With active involuntary movements during wakefulness, the EB group exhibited hypermetabolism of the cerebellum and pons. With movement suppression during sleep, the EB group exhibited superior-medial frontal hypometabolism in a region associated with cortical control of eyelid movement. Network analysis demonstrated a specific metabolic covariance pattern associated with ITD was also expressed in the patients with EB in both the sleep and wake conditions. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the clinical manifestations of EB are associated with abnormal metabolic activity in the pons and cerebellum, whereas the functional substrate of the disorder may be associated with abnormalities in cortical eyelid control regions. Furthermore, ITD-related networks are expressed in patients with EB, suggesting a functional commonality between both forms of primary dystonia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-677
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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