Objective evaluation of manual performance deficits in neurological movement disorders

Dennis A. Nowak, Joachim Hermsdörfer

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftÜbersichtsartikelBegutachtung

46 Zitate (Scopus)


Impaired hand function is a frequent finding in movement disorders. The skilled control of prehensile finger forces is an essential feature of tool use in daily life. In healthy subjects, grip force is precisely adjusted to the mechanical object properties, such as weight and surface friction. Grip force is accurately scaled to be only a small amount higher than the minimum necessary to prevent a hand-held object from slipping. When an object is lifted and moved around in space, grip force is modulated in parallel with the movement-induced fluctuations in load. The absence of a temporal delay between grip and load force profiles implies that the central nervous system is able to predict the load variations before the intended manipulation. Sensory information is used to adjust the level of applied finger forces efficiently to the requirements of the mechanical object properties and the task at hand. The characteristics of impaired finger force control include inefficient grip force scaling and imprecision of the temporal coupling between grip and load force profiles. Here, we review the characteristics of deficient grip force behavior in movement disorders, e.g. Parkinson's disease, task-specific dystonia, Gille de la Tourette's syndrome and cerebellar disease. Grip force analysis is a highly sensitive method to document even subtle impairments of finger force control and may be used both as a diagnostic tool and for the objective evaluation of treatment in neurological movement disorders.

Seiten (von - bis)108-124
FachzeitschriftBrain Research Reviews
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Juni 2006


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