• Compensatory Arm Reactions in Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease

      Weaver, Tyler; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2013-01-14)
      This study examined how perturbation-evoked compensatory arm reactions in individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are influenced by explicit verbal instruction. Ten individuals with PD and 15 older adults without PD responded to surface translations with or without specific instruction to reach for and grasp the handrail. Electromyographic (EMG) and kinematic recordings were taken from the reaching arm. Results showed that individuals with and without PD benefitted similarly from explicit instruction. Explicit instruction resulted in earlier (p=0.005) and larger (p<0.001) medial deltoid EMG responses in comparison to no specific instructions. Compensatory arm reactions also occurred with a higher peak medio-lateral wrist velocity (p<0.001) and higher peak shoulder abduction angular velocity (p<0.001) with explicit instruction. Explicit instruction positively influenced compensatory arm reactions in individuals with and without PD. Future research is needed to determine whether the benefits of instruction persist over time and translate to a loss of balance in real life.