Research Topic

Fine motor skills in movement disorders

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Individual health status is substantially affected by progressive movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and several other parkinsonian syndromes. Reduced quality of life in patients suffering from a movement disorder is often due to disturbed fine motor skills, which frequently go along with disease ...

Individual health status is substantially affected by progressive movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and several other parkinsonian syndromes. Reduced quality of life in patients suffering from a movement disorder is often due to disturbed fine motor skills, which frequently go along with disease progression. This impairment leads to a reduced performance of activities of daily living such as buttoning a shirt, grooming and hand-writing. Despite increasing pharmacological and surgical achievements for the treatment of motor and non-motor symptoms, the exact patho-physiological and cognitive mechanisms as well as specific treatment interventions for dexterous difficulties in movement disorders are still under-investigated.
There is converging evidence that the disorder may be explained by a higher order praxis dysfunction. Abnormal sensori-motor integration may also be involved. The contribution of other cognitive functions, such as memory, attentional and visuo-spatial abilities in performing fine skilled movements still has to be elucidated. Neuro-imaging studies suggest that dys-regulated pre-motor cortical areas may play a crucial role when dexterous difficulties appear, but imaging studies specifically targeting impaired dexterity in movement disorders are scarce in number.
Only limited data exist on therapeutic interventions of dexterous problems in movement disorders. In contrast to the clearly positive effects of dopaminergic medication for bradykinesia and tremor, impaired dexterity seems to be less responsive. Therefore, other treatment options such as deep brain or trans-cranial stimulation may be the better option. Furthermore, studies supporting the efficacy of occupational therapy in dexterity problems should be encouraged.
Eventually, the aim of the forthcoming Research Topic is to collocate researchers with a specific expertise in fine motor skills and movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease cortico-basal degeneration (CBD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). We encourage clinical neurologists, neuroscientists, neuropsychologists and occupational research therapists to submit original work on this research topic. The common aim of individual papers is to contribute to a better understanding of dexterous difficulties in movement disorders and their treatment. Both experimental and review papers dealing with the patho-physiological and neuro-cognitive mechanisms underlying the disorder and possible treatment interventions (pharmacological and non-pharmacological, surgical) will be processed, revised and considered to be published.


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