Among the cardinal parkinsonian motor deficits, the severity of bradykinesia correlates with striatal dopamine loss. However, the impact of regional striatal dopamine loss on specific components of bradykinesia remains unknown. Using gyroscopes, we measured the amplitude, speed, and frequency of finger tapping in 24 untreated patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and 28 healthy controls. Using positron emission tomography (PET) studies and [18F]-N-3-fluoropropyl-2-beta-carboxymethoxy-3-beta-(4-iodophenyl) nortropane (FP-CIT) in PD patients, we investigated the relationship between the mean values, variability and decrements of various kinematic parameters of finger tapping on one side (e.g. the mean, variability and decrement) and contralateral striatal FP-CIT binding. Compared with controls, PD patients had reduced amplitudes and speeds of tapping and showed greater decrement in those parameters. PD patients also exhibited greater irregularity in amplitude, speed, and frequency. Putaminal FP-CIT uptake levels correlated with the mean speed and amplitude, and caudate uptake levels correlated with mean amplitude. The variability of amplitude and speed correlated only with the caudate uptake levels. Neither caudate nor putaminal uptake correlated with frequency-related parameters or decrement in amplitude or speed. Reduced amplitude and speed of repetitive movement may be related to striatal dopaminergic deficit. Dopaminergic action in the caudate nucleus is required to maintain consistency of amplitude and speed. Although decrement of amplitude and speed is known to be specific for PD, we found that it did not mirror the degree of striatal dopamine depletion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry