Benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) is a neurologic disorder characterized by an adult-onset focal dystonia that causes involuntary blinking and eyelid spasms. The pathophysiology of BEB patients remains unclear. This study investigated intrinsic low-frequency fluctuation in BEB patients during resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
The study included 9 patients with BEB (mean age, 61.7 years; range, 52–66 years), in whom the average duration of symptoms was 2.7 ± 1.8 years, and another 9 subjects from an age- and sex-matched control group. Resting state fMRI was performed in both the patients with BEB and the normal controls. Voxel-based analysis was used to characterize the alteration of amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) in both patients with BEB and the normal controls.
The whole brain analysis indicated that in comparison with the normal control group, there was a significantly increased ALFF in the left putamen, pallidum, insular lobe, and medial prefrontal cortex and a significantly decreased ALFF in the bilateral somatosensory regions, thalami, cerebellum, and medial and posterior cingulate cortex.
The present study suggests that both an abnormal default mode network and corticostriatopallidothalamic loop may play a role in the pathophysiology of BEB.