, Volume 113, Issue 2, pp 175-185
Date: 15 Jun 2005

Motor learning of hands with auditory cue in patients with Parkinson’s disease

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Summary.

In the present research, changes in motor cortex function were observed in relation to repetitive, voluntary thumb movement (training) in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and normal control subjects. Changes in the direction of thumb movement due to motor evoked potential (MEP) by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), after motor training with and without rhythmic sound, were measured using a strain gauge for 12 patients with PD and 9 normal control subjects. PD patients who experienced the freezing phenomena showed poor change in direction of TMS-induced movement after self-paced movement; however, marked change in direction of TMS-induced movement was observed after training with auditory cue. PD patients who had not experienced the freezing phenomena showed positive effects with the auditory cue, producing similar results as the normal control subjects. Two routes for voluntary movement are available in the nervous system. The decreased function of basal ganglia due to PD impaired the route from the basal ganglia to the supplementary motor cortex. These data suggest that the route from sensory input to cerebellum to premotor cortex could compensate for the decreased function of the route via the basal ganglia to the premotor cortex. Once change in the motor cortex occurred, such change persisted even after the interruption of training. These phenomena suggest that motor memory can be stored in the motor cortex.