Background: To understand the impacts of disease chronicity and hyperglycaemia on sensorimotor control of hands of diabetic patients, this study investigated the differences in hand sensation, strength and motor control by applying the pinch-holding-up activity test for patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) with different levels of glycaemic control and disease chronicity. Methods: One hundred and fifty-nine patients with clinically defined DM were included. Semmes-Weinstein monofilament, static two-point discrimination and moving two-point discrimination, maximal pinch strength precision pinch performance tests and nerve conduction studies (NCS) of the subjects were carried out. Forty-seven (29.6%) patients were in the HbA1c<7% category, and 112 (70.4%) patients were in the >7% group. There were 87 (54.7%) patients with the disease duration <10 years, and 72 (45.3%) patients with disease duration ≧10 years. Results: The severity of hyperglycaemia significantly impacts the results for Semmes-Weinstein monofilament, precision pinch force control, sensory and motor NCS tests (p<0.05). In addition, the chronicity of disease influences the motor control of precision pinch performance and the amplitude of motor NCS (p<0.05) for the diabetes patients. Conclusions: The evidence suggests that disease chronicity and hyperglycaemia have impacts on sensorimotor control in the hands of DM patients. In addition, the efficiency of prehensile forces of hand-to-object interactions in the pinch-holding-up activity test could be significant for identifying hand function, as well as pathologic changes in median nerve function, for patients with DM.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism