Electrically Induced Sensory Trick in a Patient with Musician’s Dystonia: A Case Report

Daisuke Nishida, Katsuhiro Mizuno, Osamu Takahashi, Meigen Liu, Tetsuya Tsuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A sensory trick is a specific maneuver that temporarily improves focal dystonia. We describe a case of musician’s dystonia in the right-hand fingers of a patient, who showed good and immediate improvement after using an electrical stimulation-mimicking sensory trick. A 49-year-old professional guitarist presented with chronic involuntary flexion of the right-hand third and fourth fingers that occurred during guitar performances. Electrical stimulation with a frequency of 40 Hz and an intensity of 1.5 times the sensory threshold was administered on the third and fourth fingernails of the right hand, which facilitated fluent guitar playing. While he played guitar with and without electrical stimulation, we measured the surface electromyograms (sEMG) of the right extensor digitorum and flexor digitorum superficialis muscles to evaluate the sensory-trick-like effects of electrical stimulation. This phenomenon can offer clues for developing electrical stimulation-based treatment devices for focal dystonia. Electrical stimulation has the advantage that it can be turned off to avoid habituation. Moreover, the device is easy to use and portable. These findings warrant further investigation into the use of sensory stimulation for treating focal dystonia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number223
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb


  • electrical stimulation
  • musician’s dystonia
  • sensory trick
  • surface electromyograms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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