Alternate but do not swim: A test for executive motor dysfunction in Parkinson disease

Academic Article


  • The objective of this study is to learn if participants with Parkinson disease (PD), when compared to normal controls, are impaired in making simultaneous but independent right and left hand movements. Participants were tested with Luria's Alternating Hand Postures (AHP) test and modified AHP tests. Twelve PD participants without dementia and twelve matched controls were assessed for their ability to perform the parallel AHP test (both hands remaining in the same coronal plane) and with modifications of this test into swimming (alternative arm extension with finger extension and arm flexion with finger flexion) and reverse swimming (alternative arm extension - finger flexion and arm flexion - finger extension) movements. The participants with PD were significantly impaired when performing the parallel and the reverse swimming movements AHP tests, but not impaired on the swimming movements AHP test. Swimming movements may be phylogenetically and ontogenetically more primitive and not as heavily dependent on frontal-basal ganglia networks; thus performance of swimming movements during the parallel AHP test may decrease this test's sensitivity. © Copyright The International Neuropsychological Society 2011.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Falchook AD; Decio D; Williamson JB; Okun MS; Malaty IA; Rodriguez RL; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 702
  • End Page

  • 708
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 4