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Abnormal Microscale Neuronal Connectivity triggered by a proprioceptive stimulus in dystonia

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Dimitris Fotis Sakellariou, Sofia Dall'Orso, Etienne Burdet, Jean-Pierre Lin, Mark Richardson, Verity McClelland

Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Accepted/In press7 Oct 2020


King's Authors


We investigated modulation of functional neuronal connectivity by a proprioceptive stimulus in eight young people with dystonia and eight controls.
A robotic wrist interface delivered controlled passive wrist extension movements, the onset of which was synchronised with scalp EEG recordings. Data were segmented into epochs around the stimulus and up to 160 epochs per subject were averaged to produce a Stretch Evoked Potential (StretchEP). Event-related network dynamics were estimated using a methodology that features Wavelet Transform Coherency (WTC). Global Microscale Nodal Strength (GMNS) was introduced to estimate overall engagement of areas into short-lived networks related to the StretchEP, and Global Connectedness (GC) estimated the spatial extent of the StretchEP networks. Dynamic Connectivity Maps showed a striking difference between dystonia and controls, with particularly strong theta band event-related connectivity in dystonia. GC also showed a trend towards higher values in dystonia than controls. In summary, we demonstrate the feasibility of this method to investigate event-related neuronal connectivity in relation to a proprioceptive stimulus in a paediatric patient population. Young people with dystonia show an exaggerated network response to a proprioceptive stimulus, displaying both excessive theta-band synchronisation across the sensorimotor network and widespread engagement of cortical regions in the activated network.

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