Effects of Parkinson disease and antiparkinson medication on central adaptations to repetitive grasping

Michael J. Falvo, John W. Rohrbaugh, Thomas Alexander, Gammon M. Earhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cortical activity during motor task performance is attenuated in individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) relative to age-matched adults without PD, and this activity is enhanced with antiparkinson medication. It remains unclear, however, whether the relative change in cortical activity over the duration of the task, i.e., central adaptation, is affected individuals with PD, and if so, whether medication corrects for any unique behaviors. Movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) were recorded from scalp electrode sites Cz and C1 during 150 repetitive handgrip contractions at 70% of maximal voluntary contraction, in individuals with PD (n = 10) both ON and OFF of their PD medication, and neurologically normal age- and sex-matched controls (n = 10). Repetitions were divided into two Blocks (Block 1 and 2: repetitions 1–60 and 91–150, respectively), and the composite MRCP slopes were calculated during periods representing movement initiation (−2 s to movement onset) and execution (movement onset to 1 s). No significant interactions were noted for either comparison (PD OFF vs. control; PD OFF vs. PD ON), irrespective of electrode site (Cz or C1) or movement period (initiation or execution). Despite similar MRCP slopes and task performance, PD OFF endorsed greater perceived exertion during task performance than controls. In the present study, we observed attenuated task-related cortical activity among individuals with PD OFF relative to controls, but a similar relative adaptive response to a fatiguing task. Additionally, although antiparkinson medication enhanced cortical activity (PD OFF vs. PD ON), central adaptation was similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalLife Sciences
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Bereitschaftspotential
  • Central adaptation
  • Levodopa
  • Movement-related cortical potential
  • Parkinson disease


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