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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 2035-2044

Neural computational modeling reveals a major role of corticospinal gating of central oscillations in the generation of essential tremor


1 Laboratory of Neurorehabilitation Engineering, School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
2 Laboratory of Neurorehabilitation Engineering, School of Biomedical Engineering; Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
3 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
4 Laboratory of Neurorehabilitation Engineering, School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China; Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ning Lan
Laboratory of Neurorehabilitation Engineering, School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China; Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Qing Xie
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai
China
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Source of Support: This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 61361160415, 81271684, 81501570; the Major State Basic Research Development of China (973 Program), No. 2011CB013304; the Medicine-Engineering Interdisciplinary Research Grant from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, No. YG2014ZD09; and a grant from the Youth Eastern Scholar Program at Shanghai Institutions of Higher Learning in China, No. QD2015007., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.221161

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Essential tremor, also referred to as familial tremor, is an autosomal dominant genetic disease and the most common movement disorder. It typically involves a postural and motor tremor of the hands, head or other part of the body. Essential tremor is driven by a central oscillation signal in the brain. However, the corticospinal mechanisms involved in the generation of essential tremor are unclear. Therefore, in this study, we used a neural computational model that includes both monosynaptic and multisynaptic corticospinal pathways interacting with a propriospinal neuronal network. A virtual arm model is driven by the central oscillation signal to simulate tremor activity behavior. Cortical descending commands are classified as alpha or gamma through monosynaptic or multisynaptic corticospinal pathways, which converge respectively on alpha or gamma motoneurons in the spinal cord. Several scenarios are evaluated based on the central oscillation signal passing down to the spinal motoneurons via each descending pathway. The simulated behaviors are compared with clinical essential tremor characteristics to identify the corticospinal pathways responsible for transmitting the central oscillation signal. A propriospinal neuron with strong cortical inhibition performs a gating function in the generation of essential tremor. Our results indicate that the propriospinal neuronal network is essential for relaying the central oscillation signal and the production of essential tremor.


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