A coupled oscillator model of disordered interlimb coordination in patients with Parkinson's disease.
ABSTRACT Coordination between the left and right limbs during cyclic movements, which can be characterized by the amplitude of each limb's oscillatory movement and relative phase, is impaired in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). A pedaling exercise on an ergometer in a recent clinical study revealed several types of coordination disorder in PD patients. These include an irregular and burst-like amplitude modulation with intermittent changes in its relative phase, a typical sign of chaotic behavior in nonlinear dynamical systems. This clinical observation leads us to hypothesize that emergence of the rhythmic motor behaviors might be concerned with nonlinearity of an underlying dynamical system. In order to gain insight into this hypothesis, we consider a simple hard-wired central pattern generator model consisting of two identical oscillators connected by reciprocal inhibition. In the model, each oscillator acts as a neural half-center controlling movement of a single limb, either left or right, and receives a control input modeling a flow of descending signals from higher motor centers. When these two control inputs are tonic-constant and identical, the model has left-right symmetry and basically exhibits ordered coordination with an alternating periodic oscillation. We show that, depending on the intensities of these two control inputs and on the difference between them that introduces asymmetry into the model, the model can reproduce several behaviors observed in the clinical study. Bifurcation analysis of the model clarifies two possible mechanisms for the generation of disordered coordination in the model: one is the spontaneous symmetry-breaking bifurcation in the model with the left-right symmetry. The other is related to the degree of asymmetry reflecting the difference between the two control inputs. Finally, clinical implications by the model's dynamics are briefly discussed.
Article: Spinal pattern generation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Recent research in the field of spinal pattern generation has concentrated on three main areas: the effects of various transmitters on spinal rhythmic patterns in reduced preparations (neonatal rats, chick embryos, tadpole embryos, lampreys); the changes in membrane properties of different elements of the generating circuits; and the interactions between central generating mechanisms and afferent inputs. The important message is that new properties of neural membranes, as well as new reflex responses, have been identified that could not have been predicted in the absence of such rhythmic activity.Current Opinion in Neurobiology 01/1995; 4(6):894-902. · 7.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Computer simulation of neuronal networks is rapidly becoming accepted as a powerful tool in neuroscience. We illustrate the trends in this field by looking at motor generation and control, with examples from recent modeling studies of different systems, including the spinal swimming rhythm generator of the lamprey.Current Opinion in Neurobiology 01/1995; 4(6):903-8. · 7.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The basal ganglia have traditionally been associated with motor control functions and this view has prevailed since the late nineteenth century. Recent experimental studies suggest that this neuroanatomical system is also critically involved in motor learning. In the present study, motor learning/transfer capabilities were compared between patients with Parkinson's disease and a group of normal elderly people. Subjects practiced a bimanual coordination task that required continuous flexion-extension movements in the transverse plane with a 90 degrees phase offset between the forearms. During acquisition, augmented visual feedback of the relative motions was provided in real time. The findings revealed improvements in the bimanual coordination pattern across practice in both groups when the augmented concurrent feedback was present. However, when transferred to performance conditions in which the augmented information was withheld, performance deteriorated (relative to the augmented condition) and this effect was more prevalent in the Parkinson patients. More specifically, no improvement in interlimb coordination was observed under nonaugmented feedback conditions across practice. Instead, a drift toward the preferred in-phase and antiphase coordination patterns was evident. The present findings suggest that Parkinson patients can improve their performance on a new motor task, but they remain strongly dependent on augmented visual information to guide these newly acquired movements. The apparent adoption of a closed-loop control mode is accompanied with decreases in movement speed in order to use the feedback to ensure accuracy. When the augmented feedback is withheld and the movement pattern is to be controlled by means of intrinsic information feedback sources, performance is severely hampered. The findings are hypothesized to indicate that learning/transfer is affected in Parkinson patients who apparently prefer some constancy in the environmental contingencies under which practice takes place. The present findings are consistent with the notion that the basal ganglia form a critical neuroanatomical substrate for motor learning.Experimental Brain Research 04/1997; 113(3):497-508. · 2.22 Impact Factor