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Publication Detail
The role of the cerebellum in the pathogenesis of cortical myoclonus.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Ganos C, Kassavetis P, Erro R, Edwards MJ, Rothwell J, Bhatia KP
  • Publication date:
    04/2014
  • Pagination:
    437, 443
  • Journal:
    Mov Disord
  • Volume:
    29
  • Issue:
    4
  • Status:
    Published
  • Country:
    United States
  • Language:
    eng
  • Keywords:
    GABA, ataxia, cortical myoclonus, motorcortical disinhibition, progressive myoclonus epilepsy, Ataxia, Cerebellum, Cerebral Cortex, Electroencephalography, Humans, Myoclonus, Synaptic Transmission
Abstract
The putative involvement of the cerebellum in the pathogenesis of cortical myoclonic syndromes has been long hypothesized, as neuropathological changes in patients with cortical myoclonus have most commonly been found in the cerebellum rather than in the suspected culprit, the primary somatosensory cortex. A model of increased cortical excitability due to loss of cerebellar inhibitory control via cerebello-thalamo-cortical connections has been proposed, but evidence remains equivocal. Here, we explore this hypothesis by examining syndromes that present with cortical myoclonus and ataxia. We first describe common clinical characteristics and underlying neuropathology. We critically view information on cerebellar physiology with regard to motorcortical output and compare findings between hypothesized and reported neurophysiological changes in conditions with cortical myoclonus and ataxia. We synthesize knowledge and focus on neurochemical changes in these conditions. Finally, we propose that the combination of alterations in inhibitory neurotransmission and the presence of cerebellar pathology are important elements in the pathogenesis of cortical myoclonus.
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