Impaired finger dexterity occurs in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and has been considered a limb-kinetic apraxia associated with primary sensory cortical dysfunction. To study the role of nigrostriatal dopamine loss and elementary parkinsonian motor deficits in impaired finger dexterity of PD. Thirty-two right-handed untreated PD patients and 30 right-handed healthy controls were included. All patients underwent [18F] FP-CIT positron emission tomography studies. We examined the associations among unilateral coin rotation (CR) score, Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) subscores for bradykinesia and rigidity of the corresponding arm, and contralateral regional striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) uptake. We also measured the effect of oral levodopa dose on CR scores and UPDRS subscores. PD patients performed worse than controls on the CR task. Unilateral arm UPDRS bradykinesia scores were associated with DAT uptake in the contralateral putamen. The left CR score was associated with left arm bradykinesia and rigidity scores and DAT uptake in the right posterior putamen, whereas no such associations were found for the right CR score. There was a significant effect of handedness on the association of putamen DAT uptake with CR scores, but not with UPDRS subscores. An oral levodopa challenge improved CR scores and UPDRS subscores on both sides. Impaired finger dexterity in PD is related to elementary parkinsonian motor deficits and nigrostriatal dopamine loss. Impaired dominant hand dexterity associated with nigrostriatal dopamine loss seems to be compensated to some extent by the dominant cerebral cortex specialized for controlling precise finger movements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry