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Keywords:

  • tics;
  • motor performance;
  • sensorimotor integration;
  • bimanual coordination

Abstract

Background:

Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a childhood-onset disorder characterized by persistent motor and vocal tics fluctuating in severity. Although structural changes observed in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome concern brain structures involved in voluntary motor control such as the basal ganglia, the frontoparietal cortex, and the corpus callosum, movement lateralization and bimanual coordination have been underinvestigated.

Methods:

Using a sensor-engineered glove, we analyzed the performance of repetitive externally paced single-hand and bimanual finger movements in 11 children with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

Results:

When requested to perform sequential single-hand finger movements, patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome showed longer touch duration, shorter movement time, and more errors than healthy subjects. When requested to execute the task bimanually, healthy subjects exhibited a slight loss in accuracy and an increase in touch duration compared with the single-hand task, whereas patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome did not. Further, healthy subjects presented great asymmetry in terms of movement accuracy between left and right hands during the bimanual task, whereas patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome did not.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome may present an abnormal process of sensorimotor integration, movement lateralization, and bimanual coordination during sequential finger movements. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society