DOI: 10.1007/s00259-017-3664-xPages: 1375-1382

The relationship between the dopaminergic system and depressive symptoms in cervical dystonia

1. Academic Medical Centre, Department of Neurology

2. University Medical Centre, Department of Neurology

3. Academic Medical Centre, Department of Nuclear Medicine

Correspondence to:
J. Booij
Tel: +31 20 5663572
Email: j.booij@amc.uva.nl

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Abstract

Purpose

Cervical dystonia (CD) is associated with tremor/jerks (50%) and psychiatric complaints (17–70%). The dopaminergic system has been implicated in the pathophysiology of CD in animal and imaging studies. Dopamine may be related to the motor as well as non-motor symptoms of CD. CD is associated with reduced striatal dopamine D2/3 (D2/3) receptor and increased dopamine transporter (DAT) binding. There are differences in the dopamine system between CD patients with and without jerks/tremor and psychiatric symptoms.

Methods

Patients with CD and healthy controls underwent neurological and psychiatric examinations. Striatal DAT and D2/3 receptor binding were assessed using [123I]FP-CIT and [123I]IBZM SPECT, respectively. The ratio of specific striatal to non-specific binding (binding potential; BPND) was the outcome measure.

Results

Twenty-seven patients with CD and 15 matched controls were included. Nineteen percent of patients fulfilled the criteria for a depression. Striatal DAT BPND was significantly lower in depressed versus non-depressed CD patients. Higher DAT BPND correlated significantly with higher scores on the Unified Myoclonus Rating Scale (UMRS). The striatal D2/3 receptor BPND in CD patients showed a trend towards lower binding compared to controls. The D2/3 BPND was significantly lower in depressed versus non-depressed CD patients. A significant correlation between DAT and D2/3R BPND was found in both in patients and controls.

Conclusions

Alterations of striatal DAT and D2/3 receptor binding in CD patients are related mainly to depression. DAT BPND correlates significantly with scores on the UMRS, suggesting a role for dopamine in the pathophysiology of tremor/jerks in CD.

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  • Accepted: Feb 23, 2017
  • Online: Mar 17, 2017

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