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‘Gait Freeze’ Lesions Found in Common Network

Ann Neurol; ePub 2017 Jan 24; Fasano, et al

Lesions causing freezing of gait are located within a common functional network characterized by connectivity to the cerebellar locomotor region, a recent study found. 14 cases of lesion-induced freezing of gait were identified from medical literature, and lesions were mapped to a common brain atlas. Since lesion-induced symptoms can come from sites connected to the lesion location, not just the lesion location itself, researchers also identified brain regions functionally connected to each lesion location. They found:

  • Lesion location was heterogeneous, and no single region could be considered necessary for symptom generation.
  • However, > 90% (13 of 14) of lesions were functionally connected to a focal area in the dorsal medial cerebellum.
  • This cerebellar area overlapped previously recognized regions that are activated by locomotor tasks, termed the cerebellar locomotor region.
  • Connectivity to this region was specific to lesions causing freezing of gait compared to lesions causing other movement disorders (hemichorea or asterixis).

Citation:

Fasano A, Laganiere SE, Lan S, Fox MD. Lesions causing freezing of gait localize to a cerebellar functional network. [Published online ahead of print January 24, 2017]. Ann Neurol. doi:10.1002/ana.24845.