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Various investigators have developed complex quantitative instrumental procedures for objective assessment of parkinsonian motor impairment, since drawbacks of rating scales are interrater variability, subjective impression, and insensitivity to subtle modifications. Objectives: To determine whether performance of inserting of pegs and tapping (i) correlates with each other (ii) differentiates between parkinsonian subjects and healthy controls and (iii) reflects severity of Parkinson's disease (PD). Subjects and
In 157 previously untreated idiopathic parkinsonian patients and healthy controls, we measured (i) the total time taken to insert 25 pegs from a rack into a series of appropriate holes in a Purdue pegboard-like apparatus and (ii) the number of taps on a contact board with a contact pencil for a period of 32 seconds for assessment of fine motor skills.
Results of both tests correlated with each other, differed between parkinsonian subjects and controls and reflected scored severity of PD. Better correlation with intensity of PD was noted with the Purdue pegboard-like task.
Both tapping and inserting of pegs represent useful tools for objective evaluation of severity of PD. Peg insertion correlated better with disease severity. Both approaches may be useful in future clinical studies.
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