Coordination deficits during trunk-assisted reach-to-grasp movements in Parkinson’s disease
We examined whether coordination between movement components during trunk-assisted prehension was compromised in PD patients in response to varying constraints (experiment 1: reach speed, object size, movement amplitude; experiment 2: movement sequence). In general, both PD patients and controls responded similarly to the changes in these three variables. PD patients, however, demonstrated less synchronized movements in terms of timing between onsets and offsets of aperture formation, endpoint motion and trunk motion. In addition, PD patients used a pattern different from that of controls in specifying the relative contribution of trunk and arm to the endpoint motion. A significant group difference was observed in that controls tended to synchronize the involved movement components together, whereas PD patients did not show such a trend. These data suggest that PD patients have intact parameterization capabilities, although they have a reduced capability to coordinate multiple neuromotor synergies as a single unit.