We investigated lower-extremity isometric tremor Approximate Entropy (irregularity), torque steadiness and rate of force development (RFD) and their associations to muscle activation strategy during isometric knee extensions in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Thirteen male patients with idiopathic PD and 15 neurologically healthy matched controls performed isometric maximal contractions (extension/flexion) as well as steady submaximal and powerful isometric knee extensions. The patients with PD showed decreased isometric tremor irregularity. Torque steadiness was reduced in PD and the patients had increased muscle coactivation. A markedly lower RFD was found in PD and the decreased RFD correlated with reduced agonist muscle activation. Furthermore, patient RFD correlated with the Movement-Disorder-Society-Unified-Parkinson’s-Disease-Rating-Scale 3 (motor part) scores. We concluded that both knee isometric tremor Approximate Entropy and torque steadiness clearly differentiate between patients with PD and healthy controls. Furthermore, severely compromised RFD was found in patients with PD and was associated with decreased agonist muscle activation.
Rose is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Løkkegaard is with the Department of Neurology, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. Sonne-Holm is with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hvidovre University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark. Jensen is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.