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February 1992

Supplementary and Primary Sensory Motor Area Activity in Parkinson's Disease: Regional Cerebral Blood Flow Changes During Finger Movements and Effects of Apomorphine

Author Affiliations

From the Medical and Clinical Pharmacology Service, Faculty of Medicine, National Institute of Health and Medical Research U317 (Drs 0. Rascol and Montastruc) and U230 (Drs Sabatini, Celsis, and Marc-Vergnes), and the Neurological Service, Purpan University Hospital Center (Drs Chollet and A. Rascol), Toulouse, France; and the Neurological Clinic, University "La Sapienza," Rome, Italy (Dr Sabatini).

Arch Neurol. 1992;49(2):144-148. doi:10.1001/archneur.1992.00530260044017

• We have measured with single-photon emission tomography the regional cerebral blood flow changes that occurred in the supplementary motor areas and in the primary sensory motor areas during sequential finger-to-thumb opposition movements of the right hand in seven akinetic patients with Parkinson's disease and in nine normal volunteers. Parkinsonian patients were studied before ("off" condition) and after a subcutaneous injection of apomorphine hydrochloride which was able to switch them "on" (on condition). In normal volunteers and parkinsonian patients in the on condition, regional cerebral blood flow significantly increased in the supplementary motor areas and in the contralateral primary sensory motor cortex but not in the ipsilateral primary sensory motor cortex. On the contrary, no significant regional cerebral blood flow change was observed in these areas in parkinsonian patients in the off condition. These results support the hypothesis that a functional cortical motor area deafferentation is involved in the pathophysiological makeup of akinesia and that this abnormality is reversed by dopaminergic drugs.

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