Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in focal dystonia
Dystonia is a movement disorder that manifests itself in many forms, from the relatively benign to the extremely severe. It is a disabling condition whose aetiology is unclear and whose treatments are largely unsatisfactory.;The purpose of the work presented in this thesis is to explore the pathophysiology of focal dystonia by utilising the relatively new and powerful tool of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). By understanding the benefits and limitations of this technique a number of different studies were designed to further explore the role of the brain in the genesis of this condition. It is hoped that from these investigations a greater understanding of the cortical activations associated with focal dystonia can be elucidated and further theories as to it pathogenesis proposed.;This thesis will be presented in seven chapters outlining the clinical condition of focal dystonia and its place amongst the larger group of dystonias. This includes a review of the current literature on dystonia pathophysiology. Following this the methods used in the investigations will be presented. In the following four chapters the four studies undertaken will be presented and discussed. Finally a summary of the thesis, its findings and limitations and ideas for future investigation will be presented.;In addition to the work presented in this thesis a number of other projects were undertaken in collaboration with others these will be referred to within the thesis, albeit in much less detail.