Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured using PET and H2(15)O in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with predominantly right-sided akinetic-rigid symptoms and in control subjects during the execution of an externally cued motor task either with the left or the right hand. During the execution of the task with the left, non-akinetic, hand, cerebral activation in PD patients appeared similar to that of controls. Activated areas were the primary motor cortex, premotor cortex, parietal cortex and cerebellum. When the task was executed with the right, akinetic, hand cerebral activation in PD patients differed from that of controls subjects. The most important change was a bilateral activation of the primary motor cortex. We conclude that overactivation of primary motor cortex is asymmetrical in hemiparkinsonian patients.