Objective: To investigate the effect of eating utensil weight on kinematic performance in people with Parkinson?s disease. Design: A counterbalanced repeated-measures design. Setting: A motor control laboratory in a university setting. Subjects: Eighteen adults with Parkinson?s disease and 18 age-matched controls. Experimental conditions: Each participant performed a food transfer task using spoons of three different weights: lightweight (35 g), control (85 g) and weighted (135 g). Kinematic variables of arm movement were derived and compared between conditions. Main measures: Kinematic variables of arm movement, including movement time, peak velocity and number of movement units. Results: Utensil weights significantly affected the movement kinematics of all participants. Both groups had fewer movement units in the lightweight condition (Parkinson?s disease group: 22.18, controls: 19.89) than in the weighted condition (Parkinson?s disease group: 22.68, controls: 21.36), suggesting smoother movement in the former condition. In addition, both groups had higher peak velocity in the lightweight than in the weighted condition. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a lightweight utensil may facilitate smoother and higher-velocity arm movement than a weighted one in people with Parkinson?s disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation