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A second mechanism of increase of cerebellar hypermetria in humans

By Mario-Ubaldo Manto and Pierre Bosse


So far, there is only one procedure known to increase hypermetria in cerebellar patients. Facing an increased inertia of the moving limb, patients presenting a lesion of the lateral cerebellum are able to increase appropriately the intensity of the agonist electromyographic (EMG) activity (the launching force), but are unable to adapt the intensity of the antagonist activity (the braking force). As a result, hypermetria is larger when the inertial load is artificially increased. Recent studies have demonstrated that hyperventilation increases hypermetria in patients presenting a spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA 6), a disorder associated with polyglutamine expansions in the α1A-voltage-dependent calcium channel. The mechanism of this increase of hypermetria has not been identified so far. In the present work, we combined kinematic, EMG and transcranial Doppler studies to understand the effects of hyperventilation on fast goal-directed movements in patients presenting a SCA 6. Both in the normal mechanical state and after increasing the inertial load of the moving hand, hyperventilation induced an increase of hypermetria. Hyperventilation increased the delay of the onset latency of the antagonist EMG activity and decreased the rate of rise of both the agonist and the antagonist EMG activities. Hyperventilation induced a marked decrease in cerebral blood flow velocities. The mechanism of this provocative test is original and is distinct from the mechanism of the load-induced increase of hypermetria

Topics: Rapid Reports
Publisher: Blackwell Science Inc
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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