Thursday, February 19, 2009

Normal interplay between both hemispheres

Martin Sommer has a new brain article out. He is well-known for the discovery of fibre deficiencies in the left hemisphere which was later confirmed more or less by others like Watkins and Soo-Eung. I met him several times in Goettingen where he lives and works, and at conferences. Our first meeting was in my car (it was raining, I remember) and then in a local car repair shop, because I unwisely put the wrong fuel into my car! He also stutters, and runs a self-help group. He works as a neurologist and does research. And don't mention trains, because he is a fanatic of!
I do not have access to the full paper yet, but it looks as if he could not find any evidence for abnormal interplay between the two hemispheres. I write more when I know more.

1: Mov Disord. 2009 Feb 17.

Normal interhemispheric inhibition in persistent developmental stuttering.

Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.
Imaging studies suggest a right hemispheric (pre)motor overactivity in patients with persistent developmental stuttering (PDS). The interhemispheric inhibition (IHI) studied with transcranial magnetic stimulation is an established measure of the interplay between right and left motor areas. We assessed IHI in 15 young male adults with PDS and 15 age-matched fluent-speaking subjects. We additionally studied the ipsilateral silent period (iSP) duration. We found no significant between-group difference for IHI or for iSP duration. We conclude that the interplay between the primary motor cortices is normal in patients with PDS. The abnormal right motor and premotor activity observed in functional imaging studies on PDS are not likely to reflect altered primary motor cortex excitability, but are likely to have a different origin. (c) 2009 Movement Disorder Society.

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