Delayed motor response correlates with striatal degeneration in Parkinson's disease

Acta Neurol Scand. 1999 Oct;100(4):227-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1999.tb00385.x.


Objective: Studies on reaction time have suggested a selective deficit of slowness in motor readiness and motor programming in Parkinson's disease (PD). Objective of this study was the putative relation between delayed initiation and execution of movement and the striatal dopamine deficiency in PD.

Material and methods: We investigated 32 idiopathic, previously untreated parkinsonian patients to evaluate dopaminergic nigrostriatal degeneration by single photon emission tomography in combination with the radiotracer [123I]-beta-CIT and performed a simple reaction time paradigm on the same day.

Results: Significant relations between the [123I]-beta-CIT-SPECT-ratio striatum/cerebellum and reaction--and movement time appeared. Reaction time and movement time of parkinsonian patients were significantly longer compared to age-matched controls.

Conclusions: We conclude that reaction- and movement-time is related to the dopaminergic nigrostriatal degeneration in untreated parkinsonian subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Corpus Striatum / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology
  • Nerve Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon