Get access

Effect of an attentional strategy on movement-related potentials recorded from subjects with Huntington's disease

Authors

  • Katherine A. Johnson PhD,

    1. Neuropsychology Research Unit, Department of Psychology, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
    2. Geriatric Research Unit, Kingston Centre, Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ross Cunnington PhD,

    1. Neuropsychology Research Unit, Department of Psychology, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
    Search for more papers by this author
  • John L. Bradshaw PhD, DSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Neuropsychology Research Unit, Department of Psychology, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
    • Department of Psychology, School of Psychology, Psychiatry & Psychological Medicine, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Edmond Chiu AM, MBBS, DPM, FRANZCP,

    1. Huntington's Disease Clinic, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Robert Iansek BMedSci, MBBS, PhD, FRACF

    1. Geriatric Research Unit, Kingston Centre, Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Huntington's disease patients perform automatic movements in a bradykinetic manner, somewhat similar to patients with Parkinson's disease. Cortical activity relating to the preparation of movement in Parkinson's disease is significantly improved when a cognitive strategy is used. It is unknown whether patients with Huntington's disease can utilise an attentional strategy, and what effect this strategy would have on the premovement cortical activity. Movement-related potentials were recorded from 12 Huntington's disease patients and controls performing externally cued finger tapping movement, allowing an examination of cortical activity related to movement performance and bradykinesia in this disease. All subjects were tested in two conditions, which differed only by the presence or absence of the cognitive strategy. The Huntington's disease group, unlike controls, did not produce a rising premovement potential in the absence of the strategy. The Huntington's disease group did produce a rising premovement potential for the strategy condition, but the early slope of the potential was significantly reduced compared with the control group's early slope. These results are similar to those found previously with Parkinson's disease patients. The strategy may have put the task, which previously might have been under deficient automatic control, under attentional control. © 2002 Movement Disorder Society

Ancillary