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Plasticity and dystonia: a hypothesis shrouded in variability.

Sadnicka, A; Hamada, M (2020) Plasticity and dystonia: a hypothesis shrouded in variability. Exp Brain Res. ISSN 1432-1106
SGUL Authors: Sadnicka, Anna

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Studying plasticity mechanisms with Professor John Rothwell was a shared highlight of our careers. In this article, we discuss non-invasive brain stimulation techniques which aim to induce and quantify plasticity, the mechanisms and nature of their inherent variability and use such observations to review the idea that excessive and abnormal plasticity is a pathophysiological substrate of dystonia. We have tried to define the tone of our review by a couple of Professor John Rothwell's many inspiring characteristics; his endless curiosity to refine knowledge and disease models by scientific exploration and his wise yet humble readiness to revise scientific doctrines when the evidence is supportive. We conclude that high variability of response to non-invasive brain stimulation plasticity protocols significantly clouds the interpretation of historical findings in dystonia research. There is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean of assumptions and armed with an informative literature in health, re-evaluate whether excessive plasticity has a causal role in the pathophysiology of dystonia.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Keywords: Dystonia, Neurophysiology, Pathophysiology, Plasticity, Neurology & Neurosurgery, 11 Medical and Health Sciences, 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute (MCS)
Journal or Publication Title: Exp Brain Res
ISSN: 1432-1106
Language: eng
23 March 2020Published Online
7 March 2020Accepted
Publisher License: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
PubMed ID: 32206849
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