Patients affected by Parkinson’s disease (PD) show deficits in learning novel motor behaviors and executing previously acquired ones. We investigated whether the two phenomena are related, evaluating the hypothesis that PD patients have difficulties in executing fine movements (such as handwriting) acquired before the onset of the disease since they perform the task as they are executing it for the first time. We asked healthy subjects to write a sequence of ‘l’ on a digitizer tablet by drawing the loop of the letter in counterclockwise fashion (as they are used to do) and clockwise fashion (i.e. using a novel motor plan). We compared the kinematic features of the samples produced by healthy subjects to those measured in samples produced by PD patients. We focused the analysis on the ink trace segmentation points, which represent the starting/ending points of the elementary handwriting movements. Our results suggests that deficits observed in PD patients in executing both novel tasks (reduced learning performance compared to controls) and previously acquired task (disrupted kinematic features compared to controls) could be due to the same underlying deficit, i.e. impaired ability of PD patients to retain the motor plan associated to the task.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.