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Amplitude Manipulation Evokes Upper Limb Freezing during Handwriting in Patients with Parkinson's Disease with Freezing of Gait

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

BACKGROUND: Recent studies show that besides freezing of gait (FOG), many people with Parkinson's disease (PD) also suffer from freezing in the upper limbs (FOUL). Up to now, it is unclear which task constraints provoke and explain upper limb freezing. OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether upper limb freezing and other kinematic abnormalities during writing are provoked by (i) gradual changes in amplitude or by (ii) sustained amplitude generation in patients with and without freezing of gait. METHODS: Thirty-four patients with PD, including 17 with and 17 without FOG, performed a writing task on a touch-sensitive writing tablet requiring writing at constant small and large size as well as writing at gradually increasing and decreasing size. Patients of both groups were matched for disease severity, tested while 'on' medication and compared to healthy age-matched controls. RESULTS: Fifty upper limb freezing episodes were detected in 10 patients, including 8 with and 2 without FOG. The majority of the episodes occurred when participants had to write at small or gradually decreasing size. The occurrence of FOUL and the number of FOUL episodes per patient significantly correlated with the occurrence and severity of FOG. Patients with FOUL also showed a significantly smaller amplitude in the writing parts outside the freezing episodes. CONCLUSIONS: Corroborating findings of gait research, the current study supports a core problem in amplitude control underlying FOUL, both in maintaining as well as in flexibly adapting the cycle size.
Tijdschrift: PLoS ONE
Issue: 11
Volume: 10
Pagina's: 1 - 13
Jaar van publicatie:2016