Navigation Links
Brain Scans Reveal Secrets of 'Writer's Cramp'

Condition may arise from abnormalities in nerve fiber bundles, scientists say

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- A team of French researchers has linked abnormalities in certain neural pathways of the brain to the debilitating muscle disorder known as "writer's cramp."

The finding could lead to a better understanding of the neurological basis for the resulting loss of muscle control and coordination that characterizes this difficult-to-diagnose disorder -- also known as "hand dystonia." The condition can render a patient unable to write or even maintain a functional grip when trying to perform a simple task.

"These results demonstrate the presence of abnormalities in [brain] fiber tracts," that are located in areas known to be involved with writer's cramp, said study author Dr. Stephane Lehericy, director of the Center for NeuroImaging Research at Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris.

Lehericy explained that although prior research had already linked writer's cramp to problematic alterations in the gray matter in certain brain regions, the current investigation identified problems with the white matter of certain nerve pathways in brain areas that are responsible for generating motor commands.

Such white matter, explained Lehericy, "contains fiber bundles that convey information from one brain region to another, as well as to the spinal cord."

Lehericy and his team reported the findings in the April issue of the Archives of Neurology.

To explore linkages between the disorder and the brain, the French team conducted high-tech diffusion-tenor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI) to scan for brain abnormalities among 26 right-handed writer's cramp patients and 26 right-handed healthy participants.

Among the writers cramp patients, the scans uncovered structural abnormalities in the white matter from the primary sensorimotor cortex region of the brain to below-cortex regions such as the thalamus. The observed abnormalities were not present among the healthy participants.

Such connections, the researchers noted, are typically key to the proper transference of motor coordination instructions from the brain to the spine, brain guidance that ultimately enables proper limb movement.

Dr. Daniel Labovitz, director of the division of cerebral vascular disease at New York University's Langone Medical Center, said the French researchers used "a very interesting technique to look at a very interesting problem."

"This is a solid piece of work," he said, "and a fascinating area of research that touches on issues that go far beyond writer's cramp alone and has to do with a whole range of activity-related difficulties that clearly have to do with a problem with the brain."

"So this study builds on the little knowledge we have on an exceedingly rare and unusual issue for which we have virtually no treatment," Labovitz added. "No, this finding doesn't tell us what the brain changes mean exactly. But it does add incrementally and importantly to our understanding of the neurology underlying the problem."

More information

For more on writer's cramp, head to the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation.

SOURCES: Stephane Lehericy, M.D., Ph.D., director, Center for NeuroImaging Research, and professor, department of neuroradiology, Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, Paris; Daniel Labovitz, M.D., director, division of cerebral vascular disease, New York University Langone Medical Center, and assistant professor, neurology, NYU School of Medicine, New York City; April 2009 Archives of Neurology

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Treating sleep disorders in people with traumatic brain injury may not eliminate symptoms
2. Gene Network Sciences Announces Brain Cancer Collaboration With M.D. Anderson
3. Reversing effects of altered enzyme may fight brain tumor growth
4. Aspirin Linked to Brain Microbleeds
5. Brain Balance(TM) Centers Picks Adam Kluger Public Relations (AKPR) to Help Promote New Book and Atlanta Event to Raise Awareness About Revolutionary New Way to Treat Learning Disorders; Atlantic Recording Artist/Country Music Star Zac Brown and Dr. Rober
6. Pathway to Wisdom May Be Found in Brain Circuitry
7. American Heart Association Statement Gives Guidance on Minimally Invasive Procedures to Treat Diseased Brain Vessels
8. Avastin effective at delaying brain tumor progression in recurrent disease
9. Elsevier and Brain Mapping Foundation co-host 6th Annual World Congress of IBMISPS
10. From Early Brain Development to Digestive Health, New Juicy Juice Beverages Aid Children Through Different Stages of Growth and Development
11. Computerized Brain Exercise Improves Memory
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Brain Scans Reveal Secrets of 'Writer's  Cramp'
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in America", which is hosted ... array of issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to providing the world with ... changing the subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a time. , In ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... successful and prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial ... organizations, and helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients at Serenity Point ... come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that they are most ... Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on index cards, describing ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... to discuss bioavailability and the need to integrate dose form selection in early ... with OBN, the membership organization supporting and bringing together the UK’s emerging life ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Pixel ... self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with ... work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... European Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: ... Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities"  report to their ... has announced the addition of the  ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) ... "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents & Kits, ... Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical Diagnostics), ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced the ... the United States (U.S.) Food and ... to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen believes this submission ... FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA submission using the ... M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: