Introduction: Motor imagery during functional magnetic resonance imaging is commonly used to understand the neural underpinnings of complex movements. This approach has recently been applied to individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) to better understand how brain function may relate to movement dysfunction. However, the ability of individuals with PD to imagine movements when "Off" dopamine replacement medication is poorly understood. Therefore, the primary purpose of the current study is to test the ability of people with PD to imagine movements while "On" and "Off" anti-Parkinson medication. Methods: Vividness of imagery was assessed in 28 individuals with mild to moderate PD (Hoehn and Yahr stages 1-3) via the Kinesthetic Visual Imagery Questionnaire (KVIQ-20) both "On" and "Off" anti-Parkinson medication. Vividness of imagery of 32 age-matched older adults was also assessed. Results: No differences in vividness of imagery were observed between "Off" and "On" medication states (p = 0.15). Imagery was similar between controls and PD both "Off" (p = 0.25) and "On" (p = 0.46) anti-Parkinson medication. A significant correlation was observed between imagery and disease severity while "On" anti-Parkinson medication (r = -0.49; p = 0.008). Discussion and conclusions: Vividness of movement imagery was not different between "Off" and "On" anti-Parkinson medications or between PD and controls. These results suggest that people with PD are able to imagine similarly to older adults both when "On" and "Off" anti-Parkinson medication, and supports the use of motor imagery in the "Off" medication state.
- Parkinson's disease
- motor imagery