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February 1976

Reaction Times in Parkinson Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital (Drs Heilman, Watson, and Greer), and the Department of Neurology (Drs Heilman, Watson, and Greer and Ms Bowers), College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Arch Neurol. 1976;33(2):139-140. doi:10.1001/archneur.1976.00500020067011

• Ten hypokinetic parkinsonian patients and ten age- and sex-matched controls were tested, using reaction times with and without a warning signal. The time difference between each was used as a measure of phasic arousal. Both groups' reaction times improved with a warning signal, but there were no differences in reaction-time reduction between the parkinsonian and control groups. These results suggest either that hypokinesia in parkinsonism is not caused by an arousal defect or it is caused by a defect in the "autoevoked" arousal system.

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