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Dopaminergic influence on disturbed spatial discrimination in Parkinson's disease

Authors

  • Hae-Won Shin MD,

    1. Department of Neurology and Brain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Suk Y. Kang MD,

    1. Department of Neurology and Brain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Young H. Sohn MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology and Brain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    • Department of Neurology, Yonsei University Medical Center, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, South Korea
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Abstract

Various sensory symptoms and disturbed sensory perception are often observed in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). The basis of sensory disturbance in PD is unknown but possibly reflects a role for the basal ganglia in sensory processing. To investigate the relationship between the sensory dysfunction and dopaminergic deficiency in PD, we measured spatial discrimination using the Grating Orientation Task in 21 drug-naive patients with PD, before and after long-term antiparkinson therapy, and 25 age-matched healthy controls. The grating orientation threshold was significantly higher in patients (3.03 ± 0.84) than controls (2.03 ± 0.79). After 3 to 10 months of antiparkinson therapy, the grating orientation threshold was significantly lowered (2.66 ± 0.84), although it was still higher than that in controls. Improvement in the patients' sensory function was significantly correlated with motor improvement (r = 0.44). These results suggest that sensory dysfunction in Parkinson's disease is related at least in part to the dopaminergic deficit. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society

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