Oral cancer is first treated with surgery for the patients. In most cases, it becomes difficult for these patients to perform smooth jaw movements postoperatively, causing masticatory dysfunctions, due to the mandible excision including muscles and peripheral nerves. However, it is still unknown whether the surgery affects the brain function for jaw movement in the patients. In this study, therefore, we investigated a significance of the movement-related cortical potential (MRCP) for jaw movements in the patients after the cancer surgery, to clarify the motor preparation process in the brain, as compared with healthy subjects. Eight normal subjects and seven patients with oral cancers were enrolled in the study. Experiment 1: The normal subjects were instructed to perform jaw-biting movement and hand movement, respectively. The MRCPs appeared bilaterally over the scalp approximately 1 to 2 s before the onset of muscle discharge in both movements. Experiment 2: The MRCPs appeared preoperatively in the jaw biting movement in all patients. However, the amplitudes of the MRCP decreased significantly after than before the surgery (p < 0.05). Our data indicated the dysfunction of the motor preparation process for jaw movements in the patient after the surgery, suggesting impairment of feed-forward system in the maxillofacial area.
Part of the book: Cerebral and Cerebellar Cortex