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Lei Zhou, Marie-Anne Gougeon and Julie Nantel

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that touches approximately 1–2% of the population over the age of 65 and 3% to 5% when reaching 85 years old or older ( Forsaa, Larsen, Wentzel-Larsen, Herlofson, & Alves, 2008 ). Postural balance and gait deficits are common motor deficits

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Martin H. Rose, Annemette Løkkegaard, Stig Sonne-Holm and Bente R. Jensen

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.

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Douglas W. Powell, Anburaj Muthumani and Ruiping Xia

Bradykinesia is a cardinal symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Both aging and disease are shown to be associated with decreased adaptability to environmental stresses characterized by reduced complexity (or increased regularity) of biorhythms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the regularity of movement in individuals with PD, and the effect of dopaminergic medication. Nine subjects with PD and eight controls performed wrist flexion/extension movements at maximal velocity and range of motion. Subjects with PD were tested under two medication conditions. Approximate entropy (ApEn) was calculated to assess the regularity of the movement, with the smaller value associated with the greater regularity. Data revealed that subjects with PD had lower ApEn values than controls. Medication did not alter the ApEn values. These findings demonstrate that impaired voluntary movement in individuals with PD is associated with increased regularity of movement and this exaggerated regularity appears less sensitive to anti-PD medication.

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Brandon R. Rigby, Ronald W. Davis, Marco A. Avalos, Nicholas A. Levine, Kevin A. Becker and David L. Nichols

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive, neurological disorder caused by the destruction of dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain ( Jacobs, Svoboda, & Lepeley, 2018 ). It is the most common neurodegenerative disease that affects movement and is prevalent in 1

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Victor Spiandor Beretta, Fabio Augusto Barbieri, Diego Orcioli-Silva, Paulo Cezar Rocha dos Santos, Lucas Simieli, Rodrigo Vitório and Lilian Teresa Bucken Gobbi

Unilateral motor signs and symptoms are one of the main characteristics of Parkinson’s disease (PD). More than half of the people with PD present unilateral motor signs/symptoms ( Uitti, Baba, Wszolek, & Putzke, 2005 ; Van Der Hoorn, Bartels, Leenders, & De Jong, 2011 ), which remain during

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Amanda L. Penko, Jacob E. Barkley, Anson B. Rosenfeldt and Jay L. Alberts

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common movement disorder estimated to affect nearly 7 million individuals worldwide. 1 The loss of dopaminergic neurons within the basal ganglia is the hallmark of PD and manifest in a clinical presentation of motor deficits (ie, postural instability and

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Anson B. Rosenfeldt, Amanda L. Penko, Andrew S. Bazyk, Matthew C. Streicher, Tanujit Dey and Jay L. Alberts

Gait impairment is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with up to 87% of individuals exhibiting gait dysfunction in the early stages of diagnosis ( Kang et al., 2005 ). Primary gait impairments in PD include decreased cadence, velocity, step length, and arm swing ( Morris, Huxham, McGinley, Dodd

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Mon S. Bryant, Diana H. Rintala, Jyh-Gong Hou and Elizabeth J. Protas

Aim:

To investigate the relationships between falls, fear of falling, and activity limitations in individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Design/methods:

Cross-sectional study of individuals with mild to moderate PD (N = 83). Associations among demographic data, fall frequency, disease severity, motor impairment, ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL), Activities Balance Confidence Scale, Iowa Fatigue Scale, Comorbidity Index, and Physical Activity Scale for Elders were studied.

Results:

Frequent fallers had more ADL limitations than nonfallers (p < .001) and rare fallers (p = .004). Frequent fallers reported a lower percentage of ability to perform ADL than nonfallers (p = .003). Frequent fallers and rare fallers were less physically active than nonfallers (p = .015 and p = .040, respectively). Frequent fallers and rare fallers reported a higher level of fear of falling than nonfallers (p = .031 and p = .009, respectively).

Conclusions:

Falls and fear of falling were associated with more ADL limitations and less physical activity after adjusting for physical impairments.

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Kaixuan Shi, Xiaoli Liu, Decai Qiao and Lijuan Hou

Exercise improves motor deficits in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients but the underlying neuronal mechanism is poorly understood. Since the striatum is critical to motor function, we have investigated the potential effects of exercise on the spiking activity of the striatal neurons in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease. Twenty-four hours after injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the right medial forebrain bundle, rats in exercise groups were trained to exercise on a treadmill. Twenty-eight days after 6-OHDA lesion, apomorphine induced fewer rotations in the PD rats with exercise than in PD + Ex rats. Anatomical examination indicates that compared with the PD rats, PD + Ex rats had an attenuated loss of dopamine axonal fibers in the striatum and dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars. Equally important, the abnormal burst firing and firing rates in striatal neurons were lower in the PD + Ex rats than in the PD rats. Taken together, our results suggest that exercise has neuroprotective effects that can reduce the degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopamine system and minimize the abnormal neuronal spike firing in parkinsonian striatum, potentially contributing to exercise’s motor-improving effects in PD.

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Leah S. Goudy, Brandon Rhett Rigby, Lisa Silliman-French and Kevin A. Becker

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an idiopathic, progressive, and chronic neurodegenerative disorder that can affect physical and emotional health ( Goodwin, Richards, Taylor, Taylor, & Campbell, 2008 ). The condition is caused by a reduction in dopamine, a hormone that plays a key role with movement