Music attenuates excessive visual guidance of skilled reaching in advanced but not mild Parkinson's disease

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Sacrey, Lori-Ann Rosalind
Clark, Callie Anne Marie
Whishaw, Ian Q.
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Public Library of Science
Parkinson’s disease (PD) results in movement and sensory impairments that can be reduced by familiar music. At present, it is unclear whether the beneficial effects of music are limited to lessening the bradykinesia of whole body movement or whether beneficial effects also extend to skilled movements of PD subjects. This question was addressed in the present study in which control and PD subjects were given a skilled reaching task that was performed with and without accompanying preferred musical pieces. Eye movements and limb use were monitored with biomechanical measures and limb movements were additionally assessed using a previously described movement element scoring system. Preferred musical pieces did not lessen limb and hand movement impairments as assessed with either the biomechanical measures or movement element scoring. Nevertheless, the PD patients with more severe motor symptoms as assessed by Hoehn and Yahr (HY) scores displayed enhanced visual engagement of the target and this impairment was reduced during trials performed in association with accompanying preferred musical pieces. The results are discussed in relation to the idea that preferred musical pieces, although not generally beneficial in lessening skilled reaching impairments, may normalize the balance between visual and proprioceptive guidance of skilled reaching.
Sherpa Romeo green journal; open access
Skilled reaching , Impairment , Hand movement , Arm movement , Eye movement , Visual occlusion , Preferred musical pieces , Familiar music
Sacrey, L. R., Clark, C.A. M., & Whishaw, I. Q. (2009). Music attenuates excessive visual guidance of skilled reaching in advanced but not mild Parkinson's disease. PLoS ONE 4(8), e6841. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006841