Brain abnormalities seen with writer's cramp
NEW YORK, July 28 (Reuters) People who suffer from writer's cramp appear to have structural abnormalities in the cerebellum, the area of the brain involved in regulating movements, and in areas on the opposite side to the affected hand, researchers report in the journal Neurology.
''It's not clear whether these abnormalities are a cause or a result of the disease,'' senior author Dr. Stephane Lehericy, from Salpetriere Hospital in Paris, said in a statement. ''The fact that the brain abnormalities are in the areas that control the affected hand suggests that these differences are specific to this problem.'' It is possible that the sustained repetitive movement associated with writing led to the changes in brain structure, Lehericy noted.
To investigate, the research team used MRI to compare the brain structures of 30 right-handed patients with writer's cramp and 30 healthy matched ''controls.'' Compared with controls, writer's cramp patients showed a significant reduction in gray matter in the cerebellum, as well as in the hand area of the left primary sensorimotor cortex.
Further research is needed to see if the abnormalities identified in this study are specific to writer's cramp or may also be seen with other types of muscle spasms, the team concludes.
REUTERS SKB PM0915