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Impulsivity traits and awareness of motor intention in Parkinson’s disease: a proof-of-concept study

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Abstract

Introduction

In patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), impulsivity is still a matter of investigation. It has been hypothesized that impulsive personality traits may favour impulse control disorder (ICD) onset during dopaminergic therapy. In healthy subjects, a relationship between the awareness of motor intention and impulsive personality traits assessed by the Barratt impulsivity scale (BIS-11) has been reported. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the awareness of voluntary action and impulsivity traits in PD.

Methods

Twenty-eight PD patients (stages I-III on the Hoehn and Yahr scale) underwent an impulsivity trait assessment by the BIS-11 scale and a task based on the Libet’s clock. Participants were requested to perform a self-initiated movement and report the time they first feel their intention to move (W-judgement) or the time of the actual movement (M-judgement).

Results

In patients with higher BIS-11 scores, the time lag between the W-judgement and the actual movement was significantly lower than in patients with lower BIS-11. No difference emerged in the M-judgement.

Conclusion

Data suggest that also in PD patients, the impulsive personality trait is related to a “delayed” awareness of motor intention and therefore to a shorter interval to allow a conscious “veto” of the impending action. Characterization of the temporal profile of awareness of motor intention could prove useful in identifying PD patients at risk of developing ICDs during dopaminergic treatment.

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Funding

A grant from “Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze”, Florence, Italy supported this project.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Conception: F.G., M.P.V., and M.C. Organization: C.M., L.K., L.M.R., S.B., P.V., D.B., M.B., A.B., A.D.B., E.G., L.G., L.T., G.V., P.P., and M.C. Patient recruitment: C.M., L.K., L.M.R., S.B., P.V., D.B., M.B., A.B., A.D.B., E.G., and M.C. Data collection: F.G., C.M., L.K., L.M.R., S.B., P.V., D.B., M.B., A.B., A.D.B., and E.G. Data interpretation: F.G., M.P.V., and M.C. Writing of the first draft: F.G. and M.C. Review and critique: C.M., L.K., L.M.R., S.B., P.V., D.B., M.B., A.B., A.D.B., E.G., L.G., L.T., G.V., P.P., and M.P.V.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Massimo Cincotta.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the local Ethics Committee of the “Area Vasta Centro - Regione Toscana” in Florence. All patients gave a written informed consent to participate in the study.

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Giovannelli, F., Menichetti, C., Kiferle, L. et al. Impulsivity traits and awareness of motor intention in Parkinson’s disease: a proof-of-concept study. Neurol Sci 43, 335–340 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10072-021-05325-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10072-021-05325-9

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