Detection of passive movement in lower limb joints is impaired in individuals with Parkinson's disease


Objective: Sensory information is crucial when performing daily activities, and Parkinson's disease may diminish sensitivity to sensory cues. This study aimed to examine the detection threshold of passive motion of knee and ankle joints in individuals with Parkinson's disease. Methods: Eighteen individuals in the early stages of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (age: 62.7 ± 7.3 years) and 18 healthy matched controls (age: 62.5 ± 7.1 years) first performed a simple reaction time test. Participants were asked to perform ten trials, during which they had to watch a square on a screen and press a button as quickly as possible when the square lit up. Thereafter, the participants were tested for their detection threshold of passive motion of their lower limb joints. Participants were seated in a specially designed chair and their knee or ankle joint was passively moved at a velocity of 0.5º/s. Participants kept their eyes closed and were instructed to press a button as quickly as possible when any joint motion was detected. Results: Individuals with Parkinson's disease needed more time to perform the reaction time test than did the control participants. Individuals with Parkinson's disease also needed larger angular displacement, even when reaction time was used as a covariate measure, to detect any passive motion, in both knee (0.70º ± 0.20º) and ankle (1.03º ± 0.23º) joints than did the control participants [(0.57º ± 0.20º) and (0.84º ± 0.27º), respectively]. Conclusion: Impaired joint proprioception can be observed in the early stages of Parkinson's disease, which may compromise the use of proprioception cues from lower limbs.



Ankle, Kinesthesia, Knee, Movement disorders, Proprioception, Somatosensory

Como citar

Neurophysiologie Clinique, v. 51, n. 3, p. 279-285, 2021.