Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) have been reported to be unable to modify their movement velocity to adapt to changing environmental demands. For example, when movement amplitude is varied, PD patients usually exhibit a nearly constant peak velocity, whereas elderly subjects show an increase of their peak velocity with increased amplitude. The experiment examined the ability of PD patients to vary the duration of their movement (four different percentages of their maximum) under conditions where temporal, but not spatial, control was emphasised. PD patients had longer movement times than control subjects, but were able to vary the duration of their movement with comparable temporal accuracy to that of elderly subjects. For both groups, the agonist EMG activity increased with decreased movement duration. For the PD patients, the number of agonist bursts increased with increased movement duration.
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