Publications by authors named "Eleonora Foddai"

2 Publications

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EEG measures of sensorimotor processing and their development are abnormal in children with isolated dystonia and dystonic cerebral palsy.

Neuroimage Clin 2021 Jan 19;30:102569. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Children's Neurosciences Department, Evelina London Children's Hospital, Guy's and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 7EH, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Dystonia is a disorder of sensorimotor integration associated with abnormal oscillatory activity within the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical networks. Event-related changes in spectral EEG activity reflect cortical processing but are sparsely investigated in relation to sensorimotor processing in dystonia. This study investigates modulation of sensorimotor cortex EEG activity in response to a proprioceptive stimulus in children with dystonia and dystonic cerebral palsy (CP). Proprioceptive stimuli, comprising brief stretches of the wrist flexors, were delivered via a robotic wrist interface to 30 young people with dystonia (20 isolated genetic/idiopathic and 10 dystonic CP) and 22 controls (mean age 12.7 years). Scalp EEG was recorded using the 10-20 international system and the relative change in post-stimulus power with respect to baseline was calculated for the alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (14-30 Hz) frequency bands. A clear developmental profile in event-related spectral changes was seen in controls. Controls showed a prominent early alpha/mu band event-related desynchronisation (ERD) followed by an event-related synchronisation (ERS) over the contralateral sensorimotor cortex following movement of either hand. The alpha ERD was significantly smaller in the dystonia groups for both dominant and non-dominant hand movement (ANCOVA across the 3 groups with age as covariate: dominant hand F(2,47) = 4.45 p = 0.017; non-dominant hand F(2,42) = 9.397 p < 0.001. Alpha ERS was significantly smaller in dystonia for the dominant hand (ANCOVA F(2,47) = 7.786 p = 0.001). There was no significant difference in ERD or ERS between genetic/idiopathic dystonia and dystonic CP. CONCLUSION: Modulation of alpha/mu activity by a proprioceptive stimulus is reduced in dystonia, demonstrating a developmental abnormality of sensorimotor processing which is common to isolated genetic/idiopathic and acquired dystonia/dystonic CP.
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January 2021

Is the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test sensitive to frontal dysfunction? Evidence from patients with frontal and posterior lesions.

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 2020 08 3;42(6):531-543. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Department of Neuropsychology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery , London, UK.

Introduction: The Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test is a widely used neuropsychological test, thought to assess executive functions and to be sensitive to frontal lobe lesions. Our aim was to investigate Brixton performance in patients with focal frontal or posterior lesions and healthy controls.

Method: We compared performance on the Brixton in a sample of 24 frontal patients, 18 posterior patients and 22 healthy controls. Both overall performance (total number of errors) and error types were analyzed.

Results: We found no significant differences between frontal and posterior patients and healthy controls in overall Brixton performance. Moreover, our error analysis showed no difference between frontal patients, posterior patients and healthy controls. The only exception was that posterior patients had a greater tendency to guess and make more errors when following specific rules than healthy controls but this was no longer significant once fluid intelligence was controlled for. We also found no significant difference between the performance of patients with left lateral ( = 11), right lateral ( = 10) or superior medial ( = 18) frontal lesions and healthy controls.

Conclusions: The Brixton test is not sensitive to frontal lobe dysfunction. It is likely that the test draws on a range of cognitive abilities not specific to frontal lobe lesions. Hence, caution should be taken when drawing conclusions about its neural substrates.
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August 2020