Abnormal interhemispheric inhibition in musician's dystonia – Trait or state?

Tobias Bäumer*, Alexander Schmidt, Marcus Heldmann, Moritz Landwehr, Anna Simmer, Diana Tönniges, Thomas Münte, Katja Lohmann, Eckart Altenmüller, Christine Klein, Alexander Münchau

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction A clustering of relatives with dystonia has been reported in families with musician's dystonia suggesting a genetic contribution to this disease. The aim of the present study was to determine whether interhemispheric inhibition (IHI) measured with transcranial magnetic stimulation is impaired in healthy family members rendering it a suitable endophenotypic marker for musician's dystonia. Methods Patients with musician's hand dystonia (n = 21), patients with sporadic writer's cramp (n = 15), their healthy family members (n = 27), healthy musicians (n = 12) and healthy non-musicians (n = 12) were included. An extended interview about the family history and musical activity was performed. IHI in both hemispheres was measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Results A stepwise regression analysis revealed musical activity (p = 0.001) and a family history of dystonia (p = 0.008) but not dystonia per se, age, handedness or gender as relevant factors modulating IHI. Conclusion These data support the notion of a genetic background of musician's hand dystonia and suggests that reduced IHI is a possible endophenotypic marker of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2016

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


Dive into the research topics of 'Abnormal interhemispheric inhibition in musician's dystonia – Trait or state?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this