< Terug naar vorige pagina


Novel insights into the effects of levodopa on the up-and downstrokes of writing sequences

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Motor control of automatized and overlearned sequences, such as writing, is affected in Parkinson's disease (PD), impacting patients' daily life. Medication effects on motor performance are not only task-specific, but also variable within tasks. The nature of this variance is still unclear. This study aimed to investigate whether medication affects writing sequences differently when producing up- or downstrokes. Writing was assessed in healthy controls (HC) (N = 31) and PD (N = 32), when ON and OFF medication in a randomized order (interspersed by two months). Subjects wrote a sequential pattern with an increasing size on a digital tablet. Writing outcomes were movement vigor (amplitude and velocity), error and end-point variability, and sequence continuation, calculated separately for up- and downstrokes. Results showed that PD patients OFF-medication reduced movement vigor (amplitude) for up- and downstrokes compared to HC. Clear deficits were found for up- but not for downstroke error in PD patients in OFF, suggesting a directional bias. Dopaminergic medication improved motor vigor by increasing writing amplitude and upstroke continuation, but this occurred at the cost of the downstroke trajectory. Other writing outcomes did not improve with medication intake. In conclusion, we interpret these findings as that the impact of dopamine is complex, highly task-specific, supporting the most highly energy demanding components of a writing sequence. As medication did not regulate downstroke writing, we recommend supplementary training to address task demands that were less modulated by dopamine (registration: https://osf.io/gk5q8/ , 17 July 2018).
Tijdschrift: Journal of Neural Transmission
ISSN: 0300-9564
Issue: 4
Volume: 129
Pagina's: 379 - 386
Jaar van publicatie:2022