The ability of Huntington's disease patients to co-ordinate their two hands with and without external cueing was investigated. Twelve Huntington's disease patients and sex- and age-matched controls performed a bimanual cranking task at two speeds (0.5 Hz, 1.5 Hz) and phase relationships (in-phase, anti-phase), with and without an external metronome cue. Data were sampled at 200 Hz, and raw displacement data for each hand, mean and standard deviation measures of the relative positions of the two hands and their velocities were then calculated. All participants could perform the in-phase movement, at both speeds; however, the Huntington's disease patients were more variable and less accurate than the control participants, particularly at the fast speed. While controls could perform the anti-phase movement, in which rotation of the cranks differed by 180 degrees at both speeds, Huntington's disease patients were unable to do so at either speed, reverting to the in-phase movement at the slow speed. An external metronome cue did not improve the performance of the Huntington's disease patients, which differentiated this group from patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. The Huntington's disease patients' inability to perform the anti-phase movement may be due to damage to the basal ganglia and its output regions.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Experimental Brain Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|