A Network Model of Cervical Dystonia; is the Cerebellum an intervention target? Event as iCalendar

17 May 2018

10 - 11am

Venue: Newmarket Campus 902-402

Location: Newmarket

Host: Department of Exercise Sciences

Contact email: exercise-sciences@auckland.ac.nz


Cervical dystonia (CD) is one of the most common forms of isolated focal dystonia. It is a neurological movement disorder characterized by sustained or intermittent contractions of neck muscles causing abnormal, often repetitive movements, head postures or both.

CD is associated with motor and sensory deficits, pain and reduced quality of life. Underlying brain pathophysiology remains unclear, with a neural network model recently proposed arising from evidence of cerebellar involvement.

A role of the cerebellum in CD can be probed using transcranial direct current stimulation to modulate cerebellar activity. Dysfunction of the cerebellum in people with CD may also present as deficits of balance and gait as these functions are cerebellar dependent.

This presentation will summarise our contribution to this field of research, providing evidence that neuromodulation of the cerebellum may modify motor function and pain in people with CD. Furthermore, our findings of dysfunction in balance and gait in this neurological population will be presented along with our ongoing work in this area and its implication for physical rehabilitation.

About our speaker

Dr Lynley Bradnam has a PhD in Neuroscience gained from the University of Auckland, a Diploma in Physiotherapy and a Master’s Degree in Health Science gained at AUT University.

Dr Bradnam is a physiotherapist and neuroscientist, with an academic career spanning almost 20 years. She has worked in universities in New Zealand, United Kingdom and Australia.

Her current position is Head of Physiotherapy at Waikato Institute of Technology and she is also a honorary Professor of Physiotherapy at University of Technology Sydney (UTS), where she was formerly Head of Discipline.

Dr Bradnam’s research interests lie in neurorehabilitation, particularly in the areas of dystonia, stroke, amputee and chronic pain.

She uses Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a non-invasive tool to study brain function and motor control in healthy adults and neurological populations. The broad aim is to better understand links between neural organisation/reorganisation and physical dysfunction to improve neurorehabilitation interventions.