Abnormal lateralization of fine motor actions in Tourette syndrome persists into adulthood

Abstract : Youth with Tourette syndrome (TS) exhibit, compared to healthy, abnormal ability to lateral-ize digital sequential tasks. It is unknown whether this trait is related to inter-hemispheric connections, and whether it is preserved or lost in patients with TS persisting through adult life. We studied 13 adult TS patients and 15 age-matched healthy volunteers. All participants undertook: 1) a finger opposition task, performed with the right hand (RH) only or with both hands, using a sensor-engineered glove in synchrony with a metronome at 2 Hz; we calculated a lateralization index [(single RH–bimanual RH)/single RH X 100) for percentage of correct movements (%CORR); 2) MRI-based diffusion tensor imaging and probabilistic tractography of inter-hemispheric corpus callosum (CC) connections between supplementary motor areas (SMA) and primary motor cortices (M1). We confirmed a significant increase in the %CORR in RH in the bimanual vs. single task in TS patients (p<0.001), coupled to an abnormal ability to lateralize finger movements (significantly lower lateralization index for %CORR in TS patients, p = 0.04). The %CORR lateralization index correlated positively with tic severity measured with the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (R = 0.55;p = 0.04). We detected a significantly higher fractional anisotropy (FA) in both the M1-M1 (p = 0.036) and the SMA-SMA (p = 0.018) callosal fibre tracts in TS patients. In healthy subjects, the % CORR lateralization index correlated positively with fractional anisotropy of SMA-SMA fibre tracts (R = 0.63, p = 0.02); this correlation was not significant in TS patients. TS patients exhibited an abnormal ability to lateralize finger movements in sequential tasks, which increased in accuracy when the task was performed bimanually. This abnormality persists throughout different age periods and appears dissociated from the transcallosal connectivity of motor cortical regions. The altered interhemispheric transfer of motor abilities in TS may be the result of compensatory processes linked to self-regulation of motor control.
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PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2017, 12 (7), pp.e0180812. 〈10.1371/journal.pone.0180812〉
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D. Martino, C. Delorme, E. Pelosin, A. Hartmann, Y. Worbe, et al.. Abnormal lateralization of fine motor actions in Tourette syndrome persists into adulthood. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2017, 12 (7), pp.e0180812. 〈10.1371/journal.pone.0180812〉. 〈hal-01579672〉

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