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Publication Detail
A Critical Investigation of Cerebellar Associative Learning in Isolated Dystonia
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Sadnicka A, Rocchi L, Latorre A, Antelmi E, Teo J, Pareés I, Hoffland BS, Brock K, Kornysheva K, Edwards MJ, Bhatia KP, Rothwell JC
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Movement Disorders
  • Medium:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Associative learning, cerebellum, dystonia, eyeblink conditioning
  • Notes:
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
BACKGROUND: Impaired eyeblink conditioning is often cited as evidence for cerebellar dysfunction in isolated dystonia yet the results from individual studies are conflicting and underpowered. OBJECTIVE: To systematically examine the influence of dystonia, dystonia subtype, and clinical features over eyeblink conditioning within a statistical model which controlled for the covariates age and sex. METHODS: Original neurophysiological data from all published studies (until 2019) were shared and compared to an age- and sex-matched control group. Two raters blinded to participant identity rescored all recordings (6732 trials). After higher inter-rater agreement was confirmed, mean conditioning per block across raters was entered into a mixed repetitive measures model. RESULTS: Isolated dystonia (P = 0.517) and the subtypes of isolated dystonia (cervical dystonia, DYT-TOR1A, DYT-THAP1, and focal hand dystonia) had similar levels of eyeblink conditioning relative to controls. The presence of tremor did not significantly influence levels of eyeblink conditioning. A large range of eyeblink conditioning behavior was seen in both health and dystonia and sample size estimates are provided for future studies. CONCLUSIONS: The similarity of eyeblink conditioning behavior in dystonia and controls is against a global cerebellar learning deficit in isolated dystonia. Precise mechanisms for how the cerebellum interplays mechanistically with other key neuroanatomical nodes within the dystonic network remains an open research question. © 2022 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson Movement Disorder Society.
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