DYT1 Dystonia (dyt1 + dystonia)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Sensory functions in dystonia: Insights from behavioral studies,,

Michele Tinazzi MD
Abstract The pathophysiology of primary dystonia is thought to involve dysfunction of the basal ganglia cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical motor circuits. In the past, emphasis was placed on the role of the basal ganglia in controlling movements; in more recent times, however, it has also become clear that they play an important part in sensory as well as cognitive functions. Here, we review evidence for dysfunction of sensory processing in patients with dystonia, and speculate that this may lead to abnormalities in a crucial role of the basal ganglia that links sensory information to appropriate motor output. Sensory function, particularly in the somatosensory domain, has been shown to be compromised in patients with primary dystonia, both in adult onset focal dystonia and in genetically characterized DYT1 dystonia. Given that nonaffected DYT1 gene carriers may show similar abnormalities to clinically affected individuals, sensory deficits could constitute a subclinical endophenotypic trait of disease that precedes overt clinical manifestations. Whether they can trigger primary dystonia or are an epiphenomenon is an issue warranting further study, but the fact that a number of different neurorehabilitative approaches explicitly manipulate somatosensory inputs to improve motor function suggests there may be a causal link between them. We believe that in future, randomized, blind and controlled studies in large patient populations should address this issue, providing efficient strategies to aid functional recovery, particularly in focal hand dystonia, where the available medical treatments offer little benefit. 2009 Movement Disorder Society [source]

Developments in the molecular biology of DYT1 dystonia

Ruth H. Walker MB
Abstract The identification of a mutation of the DYT1 gene as a cause of inherited dystonia has led to many insights regarding the genetics of this disorder. In addition, there is a rapidly expanding list of inherited dystonia syndromes, the genes for some of which have been identified or localized. The DYT1 mutation has been found in a variety of ethnic groups, and it may result in a range of phenotypes. To date, studies of torsinA, the protein product of the DYT1 gene, have not revealed its function, although its widespread distribution throughout the central nervous system suggests a universal role. TorsinA has structural homology to heat shock and chaperone proteins. Evidence from studies in cell cultures and Caenorhabditis elegans, and the presence of torsinA in inclusion bodies in several neurodegenerative diseases may be indicative of a function of this nature. Preliminary studies in humans with DYT1 dystonia and in DYT1 transgenic mice suggest disruption of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal system. A functional interference with neuronal signal processing induced by mutation of torsinA is consistent with current hypotheses regarding impairment of the center-surround mechanism in the striatum. 2003 Movement Disorder Society [source]

Brainstem pathology in DYT1 primary torsion dystonia

Kevin St. P. McNaught PhD
DYT1 dystonia is a severe form of young-onset dystonia caused by a mutation in the gene that encodes for the protein torsinA, which is thought to play a role in protein transport and degradation. We describe, for the first time to our knowledge, perinuclear inclusion bodies in the midbrain reticular formation and periaqueductal gray in four clinically documented and genetically confirmed DYT1 patients but not in controls. The inclusions were located within cholinergic and other neurons in the pedunculopontine nucleus, cuneiform nucleus, and griseum centrale mesencephali and stained positively for ubiquitin, torsinA, and the nuclear envelope protein lamin A/C. No evidence of inclusion body formation was detected in the substantia nigra pars compacta, striatum, hippocampus, or selected regions of the cerebral cortex. We also noted tau/ubiquitin-immunoreactive aggregates in pigmented neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta and locus coeruleus in all four DYT1 dystonia cases, but not in controls. This study supports the notion that DYT1 dystonia is associated with impaired protein handling and the nuclear envelope. The role of the pedunculopontine and cuneiform nuclei, and related brainstem other involved brainstem structures in mediating motor activity and muscle tone also suggest that alterations in these structures, in mediating motor activity and controlling muscle tone suggests that alterations in these structures could underlie the pathophysiology of DYT1 dystonia. Ann Neurol 2004 [source]