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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Facial recognition in primary focal dystonia.

The basal ganglia seem to be involved in emotional processing. Primary dystonia is a movement disorder considered to result from basal ganglia dysfunction, and the aim of the present study was to investigate emotion recognition in patients with primary focal dystonia. Thirty-two patients with primary cranial (n=12) and cervical (n=20) dystonia were compared to 32 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and educational level on the facially expressed emotion labeling (FEEL) test, a computer-based tool measuring a person's ability to recognize facially expressed emotions. Patients with cognitive impairment or depression were excluded. None of the patients received medication with a possible cognitive side effect profile and only those with mild to moderate dystonia were included. Patients with primary dystonia showed isolated deficits in the recognition of disgust (P=0.007), while no differences between patients and controls were found with regard to the other emotions (fear, happiness, surprise, sadness, and anger). The findings of the present study add further evidence to the conception that dystonia is not only a motor but a complex basal ganglia disorder including selective emotion recognition disturbances.[1]


  1. Facial recognition in primary focal dystonia. Rinnerthaler, M., Benecke, C., Bartha, L., Entner, T., Poewe, W., Mueller, J. Mov. Disord. (2006) [Pubmed]
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