, Volume 229, Issue 2, pp 261-271
Date: 29 Jun 2013

Force coordination during bimanual task performance in Parkinson’s disease

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We investigated within- and between-hand grip-load force coordination in medically managed Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients during bimanual tasks involving realistic actions. Increased grip force production and evidence of bradykinesia were expected in PD patients. Force coordination indices were also expected to be reduced in PD, due to impaired anticipatory force control. Increased grip force, bradykinesia, and abnormal load force production were exhibited in PD patients as compared to healthy controls. Indices of between-hand load force coordination, but not between-hand grip force coordination, were reduced in PD patients. Discrepancies in the strength of within-hand force coordination with respect to hand action were also noted in PD patients. Increased grip force production, in conjunction with abnormal load force production, may result in reduced fine motor control in PD patients during daily activities. Integrating quantitative analyses of realistic motor function in clinic may assist clinicians in evaluating the effectiveness of medical intervention in PD patients.