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TEMPORAL DISCRIMINATION IS ABNORMAL IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

J. ARTIEDA , M. A. PASTOR , F. LACRUZ , J. A. OBESO
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/115.1.199 199-210 First published online: 1 February 1992

Summary

Temporal discrimination thresholds (TDT) for recognition of paired sensory (tactile, auditory and visual) stimuli given over a wide range of time intervals were assessed in 44 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and 20 age-matched normal subjects. A significant increment in TDT for all three sensory modalities was found in PD patients compared with controls. This abnormality was greatly attenuated for about 2 h by a single levodopa/carbidopa (250/25 mg) tablet. A significant correlation was found between disease severity as assessed clinically and TDT. Patients with more severe PD had higher TDT values. The study of the peripheral median nerve and cortical somatosensory evoked potential recovery curves following double electrical stimulation of the index finger showed no differences between patients and control subjects, nor changes from ‘off’ to ‘on’ motor state which could explain the findings. These results indicate the existence of an abnormality of timing mechanisms in PD.

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