Delineating cerebellar mechanisms in DYT11 myoclonus-dystonia

Anna Sadnicka, Joseph M Galea, Jui-Cheng Chen, Thomas T Warner, Kailash P Bhatia, John C Rothwell, Mark J Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Recent research has highlighted the role of the cerebellum in the pathophysiology of myoclonus-dystonia syndrome as a result of mutations in the ɛ-sarcoglycan gene (DYT11). Specifically, a cerebellar-dependent saccadic adaptation task is dramatically impaired in this patient group.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to investigate whether saccadic deficits coexist with impairments of limb adaptation to provide a potential mechanism linking cerebellar dysfunction to the movement disorder within symptomatic body regions.

METHODS: Limb adaptation to visuomotor (visual feedback rotated by 30°) and forcefield (force applied by robot to deviate arm) perturbations were examined in 5 patients with DYT11 and 10 aged-matched controls.

RESULTS: Patients with DYT11 successfully adapted to both types of perturbation. Modelled and averaged summary metrics that captured adaptation behaviors were equivalent to the control group across conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: DYT11 is not characterized by a uniform deficit in adaptation. The previously observed large deficit in saccadic adaption is not reflected in an equivalent deficit in limb adaptation in symptomatic body regions. We suggest potential mechanisms at the root of this discordance and identify key research questions that need future study.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalMovement Disorders
Early online date17 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Oct 2018


  • Dystonia
  • DYT11
  • cerebellum
  • adaptation
  • ɛ‐sarcoglycan


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