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Clinical signs of corticospinal tract dysfunction are a common feature of spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) patients. The objective of this study is to assess dysfunction of the corticospinal tract in SCA2 using corticomuscular coherence. Testing corticomuscular coherence and rating of ataxia severity and non-ataxia symptoms were performed in 19 SCA2 patients and 24 age-matched controls. Central motor conduction times (CMCT) to upper and lower right limbs were obtained for the SCA2 group using Transcraneal magnetic stimulation (TMS). SCA2 patients exhibited a significant reduction of corticomuscular coherence for lower limbs, but not for upper limbs. This difference remained significant, even when excluding those individuals with clinical signs of corticospinal tract dysfunction. Corticomuscular coherence for lower limbs correlated inversely with CMCT to tibialis anterior muscle. Corticomuscular coherence could be a valuable electrophysiological tool to assess the corticospinal tract involvement in SCA2, even in the absence of clinical signs of corticospinal tract dysfunction.


Luis Velázquez-Pérez, Johannes Tünnerhoff, Roberto Rodríguez-Labrada, Reidenis Torres-Vega, Paolo Belardinelli, Jacqueline Medrano-Montero, Arnoy Peña-Acosta, Nalia Canales-Ochoa, Yaimeé Vázquez-Mojena, Yanetza González-Zaldivar, Georg Auburger, Ulf Ziemann. Corticomuscular Coherence: a Novel Tool to Assess the Pyramidal Tract Dysfunction in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 2. Cerebellum (London, England). 2017 Apr;16(2):602-606

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PMID: 27730516

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