Movement-related potential measures of different modes of movement selection in Parkinson's disease

Journal of the Neurological Sciences
P PraamstraM W Horstink


Movement-related potentials were recorded preceding self-paced voluntary movements in patients with Parkinson's disease and in healthy subjects of the same age group. We compared the Readiness Potential preceding joystick movements in a fixed direction and preceding joystick movements in freely selected directions. In normal subjects the Readiness Potential amplitude was higher preceding freely selected movements than preceding movements in a fixed direction. The Readiness Potential in Parkinson patients failed to be modified by the different modes of movement selection. The modulation of the Readiness Potential by different ways of preparing for movement might be due to the supplementary motor area (SMA) being more strongly engaged by tasks requiring internal control of movements than by tasks that are externally structured. The results suggest that this task-dependent variation of SMA activity is reduced in Parkinson's disease. A failing capacity to adapt SMA activity to different task demands has previously been suggested by evidence from positron emission tomography studies using similar tasks.


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