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Brain Scans Reveal Secrets of 'Writer's Cramp'
Date:4/15/2009

ns 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


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