OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether movement-related cortical potentials (MRCP) provide a physiological correlate that indicates the response to treatment in patients with writer's cramp. METHODS: In 21 patients with writer's cramp, who underwent 4 weeks of limb immobilization followed by re-training for 8 weeks, we recorded MRCPs preceding a self-initiated brisk finger abduction movement. MRCP measurements of pre-movement activity were performed at baseline, after the end of immobilization and four and 8 weeks of re-training. We examined 12 controls, who received no intervention, twice 4 weeks apart. RESULTS: Patients benefited from the therapeutical intervention (Zeuner et al., 2008). They showed no abnormalities of the MRCPs at baseline. In controls, MRCPs did not significantly change after 4 weeks. In patients, immobilization and re-training had no effect on MRCPs. There was no correlation between the severity of dystonic symptoms or the individual treatment response and MRCPs. CONCLUSION: MRCPs are stable measures for interventional studies. However, they do not reflect clinical severity of dystonic symptoms or improvement after therapeutic interventions. SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first study to investigate MRCPs in a large cohort of patients with writer's cramp compared to a control group at different time points. These potentials do not reflect the motor control disorder in patients with writer's cramp.
Keywords: Adult; Aged; Case-Control Studies; Cohort Studies; Contingent Negative Variation; Dystonia; Dystonic Disorders; Electroencephalography; Electromyography; Evoked Potentials, Motor; Female; Fingers; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Motor Activity; Movement; Muscle Contraction; Muscle, Skeletal; Restraint, Physical