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Perceptual motor dysfunction in Parkinson's disease: a deficit in sequential and predictive voluntary movement.
  1. Y Stern,
  2. R Mayeux,
  3. J Rosen,
  4. J Ilson


    We studied the ability of Parkinsonian patients and controls to generate voluntary movements on a tracing task. Subjects were videotaped while tracing designs of increasing complexity, presented on a vertical, transparent screen. Some designs were presented in a degraded form and subjects filled in their missing sections. Subjects also received a constructional task and a test of general intellectual ability. The quality of errors on the tracing task differed in the Parkinsonian and control groups. Parkinsonian patients made two distinct types of errors. One probably related to the motor disorders of the disease, but another seemed to be related to a higher level of control over sequential and predictive movements. The latter correlated with performance on the constructional and general intellectual tasks. These results suggest that Parkinson's disease may affect basal ganglia structures that are necessary for voluntary movements which require sequencing or planning. Clinically this may be observed in perceptual motor tasks since they require both voluntary movement and sequential organisation of behaviour.

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