Psychogenic Dystonia Differs From Organic Disease

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Patients with psychogenic dystonia have abnormal brain activity patterns that are significantly different from their counterparts with organic dystonia, a new imaging study suggests.

Unexpectedly, both psychogenic and organic dystonia patients have abnormal activity in the prefrontal cortex, refuting the widely held hypothesis that prefrontal abnormalities are strictly a marker of psychogenic disorders.

“We hope that the results of this study will lead not only to better understanding of [psychogenic] disorders but ultimately also pave the way for new treatment approaches for this poorly understood and difficult to manage problem,” Anette Schrag, PhD, University College London Institute of Neurology, in the United Kingdom, told Medscape Medical News.

Finding abnormalities of brain function that are different from those in organic dystonia ”opens up a way for researchers to learn how psychological factors can, by changing brain function, lead to physical problems,” Dr. Schrag added in a statement.

by Megan Brooks, Medscape

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