Cervical Dystonia and Executive Function: A Pilot Magnetoencephalography Study

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Brain Sci


BACKGROUND: Cervical dystonia (CD) patients have impaired working memory, processing speed and visual-motor integration ability. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate changes in cerebral oscillations in CD patients during an executive function test, before and after administration of botulinum toxin.

METHODS: MEG data were collected from five CD patients while they performed a visual continuous performance task (CPT), before and after they received a botulinum toxin injection. MEG data was also collected on five controls matched for age and gender. Coherence source imaging was performed to quantify network connectivity of subjects.

RESULTS: Controls demonstrated two errors with visual CPT; CD patients demonstrated six and three errors pre- and post-botulinum toxin respectively. After botulinum toxin, mean time from cue to correct response was 0.337 s in controls, 0.390 s in patients before botulinum toxin injection, and 0.366 s after the injection. Differences in coherence between controls and patients were found in the following brain regions: Fronto-frontal, fronto-parietal, fronto-striatal, fronto-occipital, parieto-parietal and temporo-parietal. Intrahemispheric and interhemispheric networks were affected. Post injection, there was minimal change in coherence in the above-mentioned networks.

DISCUSSION: Neuropsychological testing suggests difference in coherence in frontal circuits between CD cases and controls during the visual CPT, which may reflect subjects' increased difficulty with the task. Botulinum toxin is associated with minimal improvement with executive function in CD.

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