The Neuroimaging Evidence of Brain Abnormalities in Functional Movement Disorders

Sanskriti Sasikumar; Antonio P. Strafella


Brain. 2021;144(8):2278-2283. 

In This Article


While there has been significant progress in our understanding of FMDs, more individuals with functional disorders need to be imaged so that we can identify if common neuroimaging changes can distinguish between them. It is also unclear why psychosocial triggers predispose to functional disorders, so longitudinal studies following the structural changes in the limbic system can provide insight into whether this is truly a cause-and-effect phenomenon. Understanding this could also clarify what predisposes people to develop functional overlay with more typical manifestations of disease. Long-term follow-up of these patients can also identify whether the structural and functional imaging changes are reversible with interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy and physiotherapy. The more we understand the neurobiological basis of FMDs, the more avenues can be targeted for therapeutic intervention.