The network sustaining action myoclonus: A MEG-EMG study in patients with EPM1

Silvana Franceschetti, Laura Canafoglia, Fabio Rotondi, Elisa Visani, Alice Granvillano, Ferruccio Panzica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To explore the cortical network sustaining action myoclonus and to found markers of the resulting functional impairment, we evaluated the distribution of the cortico-muscular coherence (CMC) and the frequency of coherent cortical oscillations with magnetoencephalography (MEG). All patients had EPM1 (Unverricht-Lundborg) disease known to present with prominent and disabling movement-activated myoclonus. Methods: Using autoregressive models, we evaluated CMC on MEG sensors grouped in regions of interests (ROIs) above the main cortical areas. The movement was a repeated sustained isometric extension of the right hand and right foot. We compared the data obtained in 10 EPM1 patients with those obtained in 10 age-matched controls. Results: As expected, CMC in beta band was significantly higher in EPM1 patients compared to controls in the ROIs exploring the sensorimotor cortex, but, it was also significantly higher in adjacent ROIs ipsilateral and contralateral to the activated limb. Moreover, the beta-CMC peak occurred at frequencies significantly slower and more stable frequencies in EPM1 patients with respect to controls. The frequency of the beta-CMC peak inversely correlated with the severity of myoclonus. Conclusions: the high and spatially extended beta-CMC peaking in a restricted range of low-beta frequencies in EPM1 patients, suggest that action myoclonus may result not only from an enhanced local synchronization but also from a specific oscillatory activity involving an expanded neuronal pool. The significant relationship between beta-CMC peak frequency and the severity of the motor impairment can represent a useful neurophysiological marker for the patients' evaluation and follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214
JournalBMC Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 7 2016


  • Action myoclonus
  • Cortical network
  • Cortico-muscular coherence
  • MEG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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