Decreased activity of basal ganglia is the main cause of abnormal muscle constrictions in dystonia

Dec 17, 2008

Dystonia is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary abnormal muscle constrictions. More than 300,000 people in North America are affected, but the mechanism of abnormal muscle constrictions has not been well understood.

Here, Japanese research team led by Prof Atsushi Nambu and Dr Satomi Chiken of National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) in Japan, with Dr. Pullanipally Shashidharan of Mt Sinai School of Medicine in USA, has found that the decreased activity of the basal ganglia, a part of the brain structure, is the main cause of abnormal muscle constrictions of dystonia using a mouse model. They report their findings in Journal of Neuroscience, on Dec 17, 2008.

They investigated neuronal activity in the basal ganglia of a dystonia mouse model, which was generated by transferring human dystonia genes, in awake state. Basal ganglia send inhibitory signals to the motor cortex and tune optimal movement in normal state. However, in the dystonia mouse model, the neuronal activity is decreased so that basal ganglia cannot inhibit motor cortical activity related to unnecessary movements. The research team has concluded that this is the main cause of involuntary abnormal muscle constrictions in dystonia patients.

"Now we understand the mechanism of abnormal muscle constrictions in dystonia. If we can artificially increase basal ganglia activity, abnormal muscle constrictions in dystonia patients could be well controlled", said Prof Nambu and Dr Chiken.

Source: National Institute for Physiological Sciences

Explore further: Study compares deep vein thrombosis therapies (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Great white shark choked by sea lion

40 minutes ago

A great white shark that washed up on an Australian beach this week had a sea lion stuck in its throat which likely caused its death, fisheries officials said Thursday.

Bitcoin 'mining pool' promises to stay small

1 hour ago

The largest group of bitcoin miners, which maintains and processes transactions in the digital currency, is promising to avoid majority control of the currency as a temporary measure to maintain the payment system's credibility.

Airbnb remodels online home

1 hour ago

Online lodgings listings service Airbnb on Wednesday took the wraps off a major remodel of its online home complete with a new logo.

Can Modi clean the Ganges, India's biggest sewage line?

1 hour ago

Standing on the banks of the river Ganges a day after his election triumph, Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to succeed where numerous governments have failed: by cleaning up the filthy waterway beloved ...

Recommended for you

Meningitis diagnosis prompted W.Va. clinic probe

42 minutes ago

A health official says an investigation that found syringes were being reused at a West Virginia pain management clinic was triggered by patient who developed bacterial meningitis.

California firm issues nationwide fruit recall

4 hours ago

A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.

User comments : 0