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Mov Disord. 2010 Jul 30;25(10):1498-501. doi: 10.1002/mds.23156.

Increased reaction time predicts visual learning deficits in Parkinson's disease.

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Department of Neurosciences, Ophthalmology and Genetics, University of Genova, Genova, Italy.


To determine whether the process involved in movement preparation of patients in the early stages of Parkinson's disease (PD) shares attentional resources with visual learning, we tested 23 patients with PD and 13 healthy controls with two different tasks. The first was a motor task where subjects were required to move as soon as possible to randomly presented targets by minimizing reaction time. The second was a visual learning task where targets were presented in a preset order and subjects were asked to learn the sequence order by attending to the display without moving. Patients with PD showed higher reaction and movement times, while visual learning was reduced compared with controls. For patients with PD, reaction times, but not movement times, displayed an inverse significant correlation with the scores of visual learning. We conclude that visual declarative learning and movement preparation might share similar attentional and working memory resources.

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