Kinematics of the Reach-to-Grasp Movement in Vascular Parkinsonism: A Comparison with Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease Patients.
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The performance of patients with vascular parkinsonism (VPD) on a reach-to-grasp task was compared with that of patients affected by idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) and age-matched control subjects. The aim of the study was to determine how patients with VPD and IPD compare at the level of the kinematic organization of prehensile actions. We examined how subjects concurrently executed the transport and grasp components of reach-to-grasp movements when grasping differently sized objects. When comparing both VPD and IPD groups to control subjects, all patients showed longer movement duration and smaller hand opening, reflecting bradykinesia and hypometria, respectively. Furthermore, for all patients, the onset of the manipulation component was delayed with respect to the onset of the transport component. However, for patients with VPD this delay was significantly smaller than that found for the IPD group. It is proposed that this reflects a deficit - which is moderate for VPD as compared to IPD patients - in the simultaneous (or sequential) implementation of different segments of a complex movement. Altogether these findings suggest that kinematic analysis of reach-to-grasp movement has the ability to provide potential instruments to characterize different forms of parkinsonism.
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