Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 168, Issue 1–2, pp 131–142 | Cite as

Control of aperture closure during reach-to-grasp movements in parkinson’s disease

  • M. K. Rand
  • A. L. Smiley-Oyen
  • Y. P. Shimansky
  • J. R. Bloedel
  • G. E. Stelmach
Research Article

Abstract

This study examined whether the pattern of coordination between arm-reaching toward an object (hand transport) and the initiation of aperture closure for grasping is different between PD patients and healthy individuals, and whether that pattern is affected by the necessity to quickly adjust the reach-to-grasp movement in response to an unexpected shift of target location. Subjects reached for and grasped a vertical dowel, the location of which was indicated by illuminating one of the three dowels placed on a horizontal plane. In control conditions, target location was fixed during the trial. In perturbation conditions, target location was shifted instantaneously by switching the illumination to a different dowel during the reach. The hand distance from the target at which the subject initiated aperture closure (aperture closure distance) was similar for both the control and perturbation conditions within each group of subjects. However, that distance was significantly closer to the target in the PD group than in the control group. The timing of aperture closure initiation varied considerably across the trials in both groups of subjects. In contrast, aperture closure distance was relatively invariant, suggesting that aperture closure initiation was determined by spatial parameters of arm kinematics rather than temporal parameters. The linear regression analysis of aperture closure distance showed that the distance was highly predictable based on the following three parameters: the amplitude of maximum grip aperture, hand velocity, and hand acceleration. This result implies that a control law, the arguments of which include the above parameters, governs the initiation of aperture closure. Further analysis revealed that the control law was very similar between the subject groups under each condition as well as between the control and perturbation conditions for each group. Consequently, the shorter aperture closure distance observed in PD patients apparently is a result of the hypometria of their grip aperture and bradykinesia of hand transport movement, rather than a consequence of a deficit in transport-grasp coordination. It is also concluded that the perturbation of target location does not disrupt the transport-grasp coordination in either healthy individuals or PD patients.

Keywords

Arm Finger Prehension Coordination Kinematics Human 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by NIH grants NS 36752 and NINDS NS 39352, NS 40266. We are grateful to Mr. Richard Bauer, Ms. Quinn Emerson and Ms. Linda M. Squire for their technical support. We also thank Dr. Todd Ajax and Dr. Michael Kitchell for their help with subject recruitment. Portions of the results of this study were presented at the Society for Neuroscience 34th Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA, 2004.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. K. Rand
    • 1
  • A. L. Smiley-Oyen
    • 2
  • Y. P. Shimansky
    • 3
  • J. R. Bloedel
    • 2
  • G. E. Stelmach
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology, Motor Control LaboratoryArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health and Human Performance and Biomedical SciencesIowa State University of Science and TechnologyAmesUSA
  3. 3.Harrington Department of Bioengineering, Arizona Biodesign InstituteArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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