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Abnormal Brain Circuits May Prevent Movement Disorder
Date:8/4/2009

Most people who carry a genetic mutation for a movement disorder called dystonia will never develop symptoms, a phenomenon that has puzzled scientists since the first genetic mutation was identified in the 1990s. Now, scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have figured out why these mutation carriers are protected from symptoms of the disorder - they have an additional lesion that evens the score.

Manhasset, NY (PRWEB) August 4, 2009 -- Most people who carry a genetic mutation for a movement disorder called dystonia will never develop symptoms, a phenomenon that has puzzled scientists since the first genetic mutation was identified in the 1990s. Now, scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have figured out why these mutation carriers are protected from symptoms of the disorder - they have an additional lesion that evens the score.

Dystonia is marked by uncontrolled movements, particularly twisting and abnormal postures. Studies have shown that muscles contract abnormally and patients can't stop the involuntary movements. The identification of a specific abnormality in people with the genetic mutation who never develop symptoms could eventually pave the way towards new treatments for dystonia patients. There are half a million people in the United States alone. The brains of people with inherited dystonia are normal at autopsy and the exact cause of their movement abnormality is unknown.

David Eidelberg, MD, the senior author of the study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, said that they used diffusion tensor imaging - a type of magnetic re
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