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BrainWaves #102 April Fool's Day Special: Can't fool a functional MRI

MedLink Neurology
Podcast is delighted to feature selected episodes from BrainWaves, courtesy of James E Siegler MD, its originator and host. BrainWaves is an academic audio podcast whose mission is to educate medical providers through clinical cases and topical reviews in neurology, medicine, and the humanities, and episodes originally aired from 2016 to 2021.

Originally released: March 29, 2018

What does a brain look like in a patient with a functional movement disorder? Pretty normal, it turns out. But beneath the normal anatomy is a storm of aberrant signaling. Dr. Mark Hallett, Chief of the Human Motor Control Section of the NIH, describes the underlying neurophysiology in this spectrum of disorders.

Produced by James E Siegler. Music by Damiano Baldoni, Kevin MacLeod, Ondrosik, and the Philadelphia String Quartet. Voiceover by Erika Mejia. BrainWaves' podcasts and online content are intended for medical education only and should not be used for clinical decision-making.


Maurer CW, LaFaver K, Ameli R, Epstein SA, Hallett M, Horovitz SG. Impaired self-agency in functional movement disorders: a resting-state fMRI study. Neurology 2016;87(6):564-70. PMID 27385746

Nahab FB, Kundu P, Gallea C, et al. The neural processes underlying self-agency. Cereb Cortex 2011;21(1):48-55. PMID 20378581

Vuilleumier P, Chicherio C, Assal F, Schwartz S, Slosman D, Landis T. Functional neuroanatomical correlates of hysterical sensorimotor loss. Brain 2001;124(Pt 6):1077-90. Erratum in: Brain 2016;139(Pt 5):e29. PMID 11353724


Dr. Hallett receives funding from the Intramural program of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. No relevant conflicts of interest are present. He serves as Chair of the Medical Advisory Board for and receives honoraria and funding for travel from the Neurotoxin Institute. He may accrue revenue on US Patent: Immunotoxin (MAB-Ricin) for the treatment of focal movement disorders, and US Patent: Coil for Magnetic Stimulation and methods for using the same (H-coil); in relation to the latter, he has received license fee payments from the NIH (from Brainsway) for licensing of this patent. Supplemental research funds have been granted by BCN Peptides, S.A., for treatment studies of blepharospasm; Medtronics, Inc., for studies of deep brain stimulation; UniQure for a clinical trial of AAV2-GDNF for Parkinson Disease; Merz for treatment studies of focal hand dystonia; and Allergan for studies of methods to inject botulinum toxins. Jim is lucky enough to have no relevant competing financial interests.

We believe that the principles expressed or implied in the podcast remain valid, but certain details may be superseded by evolving knowledge since the episode’s original release date.

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