Julian P Rodrigues

Australian Neuro-Muscular Research Institute Ltd (ANRI), Perth City, Western Australia, Australia

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Publications (19)40.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In healthy subjects, fatiguing exercises induce a period of post-exercise corticomotor depression (PECD) that is absent in Parkinson's disease (PD). Our objective is to determine the time-course of corticomotor excitability changes following a 10-s repetitive index finger flexion-extension task performed at maximal voluntary rate (MVR) and a slower sustainable rate (MSR) in PD patients OFF and ON levodopa. In 11 PD patients and 10 healthy age-matched controls, motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded from the extensor indicis proprius (EIP) and first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscles of the dominant arm immediately after the two tasks and at 2-min intervals for 10min. In the OFF condition the PECD was absent in the two test muscles after both the MVR and MSR tasks. In the ON condition finger movement kinematics improved and a period of PECD comparable to that in controls was present after both tasks. The absence of PECD in PD subjects off medication indicates a persisting increase in corticomotor excitability after non-fatiguing repetitive finger movement that is reversed by levodopa. Dopamine depletion is associated with impaired modulation of corticomotor excitability after non-fatiguing repetitive finger movement.
    Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 10/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Repetitive finger tapping is a well-established clinical test for the evaluation of parkinsonian bradykinesia, but few studies have investigated other finger movement modalities. We compared the kinematic changes (movement rate and amplitude) and response to levodopa during a conventional index finger-thumb-tapping task and an unconstrained index finger flexion-extension task performed at maximal voluntary rate (MVR) for 20 s in 11 individuals with levodopa-responsive Parkinson's disease (OFF and ON) and 10 healthy age-matched controls. Between-task comparisons showed that for all conditions, the initial movement rate was greater for the unconstrained flexion-extension task than the tapping task. Movement rate in the OFF state was slower than in controls for both tasks and normalized in the ON state. The movement amplitude was also reduced for both tasks in OFF and increased in the ON state but did not reach control levels. The rate and amplitude of movement declined significantly for both tasks under all conditions (OFF/ON and controls). The time course of rate decline was comparable for both tasks and was similar in OFF/ON and controls, whereas the tapping task was associated with a greater decline in MA, both in controls and ON, but not OFF. The findings indicate that both finger movement tasks show similar kinematic changes during a 20-s sustained MVR, but that movement amplitude is less well sustained during the tapping task than the unconstrained finger movement task. Both movement rate and amplitude improved with levodopa; however, movement rate was more levodopa responsive than amplitude.
    Experimental Brain Research 05/2013; · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Various clinical tests and balance scales have been used to assess postural stability and the risk of falling in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). Quantitative posturography allows a more objective assessment but the findings in previous studies have been inconsistent and few studies have investigated which posturographic measures correlate best with a history of falling. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of clinical tests, balance scales, and stable-platform posturography in detecting postural instability and discriminating between fallers and non-fallers in a home-dwelling PD cohort. Forty-eight PD subjects (Hoehn & Yahr stage 1-3) and 17 age-matched controls had the following assessments: Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale, Berg Balance Scale, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) (motor), pull-test, timed up-and-go, static posturography, and dynamic posturography to assess multidirectional leaning balance. Of the clinical assessments, all but the pull-test were closely correlated with a history of falling. Static posturography discriminated between PD fallers and controls but not between PD fallers and non-fallers, whereas dynamic posturography (reaction time, velocity, and target hit-time) also discriminated between fallers and non-fallers. Our findings suggest that this combination of clinical and posturographic measures would be useful in the prospective assessment of falls risk in PD patients. A further prospective study is now required to assess their predictive value. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society.
    Movement Disorders 04/2013; · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The performance of a repetitive index finger flexion-extension task at maximal voluntary rate (MVR) begins to decline just a few seconds into the task and we have previously postulated that this breakdown has a central origin. To test this hypothesis, we have combined two objectives; to determine whether motor practice can lessen the performance deterioration in an MVR task, and whether further gains can be achieved with a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) protocol that increases corticomotor excitability (CME). Eleven right-handed subjects participated in a randomized crossover study design that consisted of a 15-min interventional TMS at I-wave periodicity (ITMS) and single-pulsed Sham intervention prior to six 10-s practice sets of a repetitive finger flexion-extension task at MVR. Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded from the first dorsal interosseous muscle. The starting movement rate, and the percentage decline in rate by the end of the MVR were quantitated. Training of the MVR task improved the sustainability of the task by reducing the decline in movement rate. CME increased steadily after each training bout, and this increase was maintained up to 20 min after the last bout. ITMS further increased CME, and was associated with an increase in both the starting rate of the MVR task and its sustainability, when compared to Sham. The results implicate central motor processes in the performance and sustainability of the MVR task, and indicate that MVR kinematics can improve with short-term training and with non-invasive neuro-modulation.
    Neuroscience 06/2012; 220:11-8. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies on handedness have often reported functional asymmetries in corticomotor excitability (CME) associated with voluntary movement. Recently, we have shown that the degree of post-exercise corticomotor depression (PED) and increase in short-interval cortical inhibition (SICI) after a repetitive finger movement task was less when the task was performed at a maximal voluntary rate (MVR) than when it was performed at a submaximal sustainable rate (SR). In the current study, we have compared the time course of PED and SICI in the dominant (DOM) and nondominant (NDOM) hands after an MVR and SR finger movement task to determine the influence of hand dominance and task demand. We tracked motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitude from the first dorsal interosseous muscle of the DOM and NDOM hand for 20 min after a 10-s index finger flexion-extension task at MVR and SR. For all hand-task combinations, we report a period of PED and increased SICI lasting for up to 8 min. We find that the least demanding task, one that involved index finger movement of the DOM hand at SR, was associated with the greatest change in PED and SICI from baseline (63.6±5.7% and 79±2%, P<0.001, PED and SICI, respectively), whereas the most demanding task (MVR of the NDOM hand) was associated with the least change from baseline (PED: 88.1±3.6%, SICI: 103±2%; P<0.001). Our findings indicate that the changes in CME and inhibition associated with repetitive finger movement are influenced both by handedness and the degree of demand of the motor task and are inversely related to task demand, being smallest for an MVR task of the NDOM hand and greatest for an SR task of the DOM hand. The findings provide additional evidence for differences in neuronal processing between the dominant and nondominant hemispheres in motor control.
    Neuroscience 03/2012; 210:110-7. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been used to study changes in central excitability associated with motor tasks. Recently, we reported that a finger flexion-extension task performed at a maximal voluntary rate (MVR) could not be sustained and that this was not due to muscle fatigue, but was more likely a breakdown in central motor control. To determine the central changes that accompany this type of movement task, we tracked motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitude from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscles of the dominant hand in normal subjects for 20 min after a 10 sec index finger flexion-extension task performed at MVR and at a moderate sustainable rate (MSR) and half the MSR (MSR(/2)). The FDI MEP amplitude was reduced for up to 6-8 min after each of the tasks but there was a greater and longer-lasting reduction after the MSR and MSR(/2) tasks compared to the MVR task. There was a similar reduction in the amplitude of the FDI MEP after a 10 sec cyclic index finger abduction-adduction task when the FDI was acting as the prime mover. The amplitude of the MEP recorded from the inactive APB was also reduced after the flexion-extension tasks, but to a lesser degree and for a shorter duration. Measurements of short-interval cortical inhibition revealed an increase in inhibition after all of the finger flexion-extension tasks, with the MSR task being associated with the greatest degree of inhibition. These findings indicate that a demanding MVR finger movement task is followed by a period of reduced corticomotor excitability and increased intracortical inhibition. However, these changes also occur with and are greater with slower rates of movement and are not specific for motor demand, but may be indicative of adaptive changes in the central motor pathway after a period of repetitive movement.
    Experimental Brain Research 01/2012; 216(1):41-9. · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The advent of deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been an important advance in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). DBS may be employed in the management of medication-refractory tremor or treatment-related motor complications, and may benefit between 4.5% and 20% of patients at some stage of their disease course. In Australia, patients with PD are reviewed by specialised DBS teams who assess the likely benefits and risks associated with DBS for each individual. The aim of these guidelines is to assist neurologists and general physicians identify patients who may benefit from referral to a DBS team. Common indications for referral are motor fluctuations and/or dyskinesias that are not adequately controlled with optimised medical therapy, medication-refractory tremor, and intolerance to medical therapy. Early referral for consideration of DBS is recommended as soon as optimised medical therapy fails to offer satisfactory motor control.
    Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 09/2009; 16(8):1001-8. · 1.25 Impact Factor
  • Julian P Rodrigues, Frank L Mastaglia, Gary W Thickbroom
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    ABSTRACT: Exploring the limits of the motor system can provide insights into the mechanisms underlying performance deterioration, such as force loss during fatiguing isometric muscle contraction, which has been shown to be due to both peripheral and central factors. However, the role of central factors in performance deterioration during dynamic tasks has received little attention. We studied index finger flexion/extension movement performed at maximum voluntary rate (MVR) in ten healthy subjects, measuring movement rate and amplitude over time, and performed measures of peripheral fatigue. During 20 s finger movements at MVR, there was a decline in movement rate beginning at 7-9 s and continuing until the end of the task, reaching 73% of baseline (P < 0.001), while amplitude remained unchanged. Isometric maximum voluntary contraction force and speed of single ballistic flexion and extension finger movements remained unchanged after the task, indicating a lack of peripheral fatigue. The timing of finger flexor and extensor EMG burst activity changed during the task from an alternating flexion/extension pattern to a less effective co-contraction pattern. Overall, these findings suggest a breakdown of motor control rather than failure of muscle force generation during an MVR task, and therefore that the mechanisms underlying the early decline in movement rate are central in origin.
    Experimental Brain Research 07/2009; 196(4):557-63. · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Data regarding the effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery on the dopamine dysregulation syndrome (DDS), impulse control disorders (ICDs) and punding in Parkinson's disease (PD) are limited. We present a case series of 21 operated PD patients who had exhibited DDS, ICDs or punding at some stage during the disease. DDS remained unimproved or worsened post-operatively in 12/17 patients with pre-operative DDS (71%) (nine bilateral subthalamic nucleus [STN], one right-sided STN, two bilateral globus pallidus internus [GPi] DBS). DDS improved or resolved after bilateral STN DBS in 5/17 patients with pre-operative DDS. DDS apparently developed for the first time after bilateral STN DBS in two patients, although only after a latency of eight years in one case. One patient without reported pre-operative DDS or ICDs developed pathological gambling post-STN DBS. One patient had pathological gambling which resolved pre-operatively, and did not recur post-DBS. Thus, DDS, ICDs and punding may persist, worsen or develop for the first time after DBS surgery, although a minority of patients improved dramatically. Predictive factors may include physician vigilance, motor outcome and patient compliance.
    Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 07/2009; 16(9):1148-52. · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to investigate the effects of dopamine on motor cortical plasticity in Parkinson's disease (PD) using a novel interventional transcranial magnetic stimulation protocol that targets spike-timing-dependent plasticity (iTMS). Six patients (3F, mean age 62 years) with mild-moderate PD (mean disease duration 6 years, UPDRS-off 13, UPDRS-on 3, H&Y stage 2, daily levodopa dosage 450 mg) were studied off and on levodopa on separate days. Paired TMS pulses at resting motor threshold with an inter-stimulus interval of 1.5 ms were given over the hand area of the motor cortex for 20 min at 0.2 Hz. Single-pulse motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude and visually cued simple reaction time (SRT) were measured before and after iTMS. When on levodopa, MEP amplitude increased to 278+/-36% of baseline (p<0.01), and when off levodopa to 157+/-13% of baseline (p=0.02). All patients showed a significantly greater increase in MEP amplitude when on levodopa than off levodopa (p=0.01). SRT was reduced to 95% baseline after iTMS off levodopa (p=0.02), but did not change on levodopa. These findings indicate that motor cortex plasticity to iTMS is preserved in mild-moderate PD. The effects of this spike-timing-related TMS protocol on cortical excitability were consistent and were enhanced by levodopa. The results support the important role of dopamine in regulating synaptic plasticity and justify a larger crossover study to assess the therapeutic effects of iTMS in PD.
    Neuroscience Letters 10/2008; 448(1):29-32. · 2.03 Impact Factor
  • J. P. Rodrigues, G. W. Thickbroom, F. L. Mastaglia
    Clinical Neurophysiology - CLIN NEUROPHYSIOL. 01/2008; 119(3).
  • Clinical Neurophysiology - CLIN NEUROPHYSIOL. 01/2008; 119(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Our purpose was to measure the change in quality of life (QoL) following deep brain stimulation of the globus pallidus interna (GPi-DBS) in advanced Parkinson 's disease (PD), and identifies any associations with changes in motor features of the disease. Eleven patients (age range 54-69 years, 2 women) underwent GPi-DBS (4 unilateral, 7 bilateral). Outcome measures included assessment of PD-specific QoL (mean 8 months postsurgery) using the PDQ-39 questionnaire, and standard motor assessments. Off-period UPDRS III motor scores fell by (43 +/- 8)% (mean +/- SEM). Dyskinesia severity was reduced on the abnormal involuntary movement scale by (80 +/- 3)% and UPDRS IVa by (58 +/- 8)%. QoL as assessed by the PDQ39SI improved by (30 +/- 5)%, with significant improvements in mobility, activities of daily living, bodily discomfort, emotional wellbeing, communication, and cognitions subscales. Bilateral and unilateral groups demonstrated equivalent PDQ39SI improvement. QoL improvement was highly correlated with dyskinesia reduction but not reduction in UPDRS score or age at surgery. GPi-DBS markedly improves QoL in advanced PD. The impacts are broad and improve QoL domains not directly affected by the motor symptoms of the disease. Reduced dyskinesia plays a major role in the improvement of QoL in GPi-DBS treated patients.
    Movement Disorders 11/2007; 22(13):1866-70. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus internus (GPi) has become an accepted therapeutic modality in selected Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with severe levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LID) and on-off motor fluctuations. In comparison to subthalamic nucleus DBS there is a paucity of data on GPi DBS outcomes. We present our experience with a group of 20 PD patients (9 unilateral, 11 bilateral) who underwent GPi stimulation. PD motor symptoms were assessed using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part III scores and subscores, and dyskinesia using the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS), UPDRS part IVa, and clinical global impression (CGI). At mean follow-up time of 7 months, bilateral stimulation reduced off-period motor scores by a mean of 46% and on-period motor scores by 18%. Unilateral stimulation reduced off-period motor scores by 18%. Dyskinesia severity was reduced by 76%, which was maintained after a mean follow-up time of 35 months. Antiparkinsonian medication dosage was unchanged. No major adverse effects were seen. Unilateral and bilateral GPi DBS provides lasting benefit in PD patients with severe LID. Beneficial effects on off-period motor symptoms are greater with bilateral stimulation; however, with maintenance of dopaminergic medication, unilateral procedures can also provide important and sustained benefits.
    Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 04/2007; 14(3):208-15. · 1.25 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Clinical Neuroscience - J CLIN NEUROSCI. 01/2007; 14(10):1030-1030.
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    ABSTRACT: Primary orthostatic tremor (OT) is a rare but disabling condition characterized by leg tremor and feelings of instability during stance. Previous studies have reported a reduction in OT symptoms with gabapentin treatment. In this study, we report on the benefits of gabapentin treatment in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study of 6 OT patients. First, the maximally effective gabapentin dosage (600-2,700 mg/day) for each patient was determined during an initial dose-titration phase. Patients were then studied 7 days after drug withdrawal and again after two 2-week periods of treatment with either gabapentin or placebo, using force platform posturography to quantify postural sway and tremor. Other medications for OT were continued unchanged. Symptomatic response was assessed by a patient-rated severity scale and quality of life (QOL) questionnaire. All patients reported an increase in symptoms during the washout phase and symptom reduction (50%-75%) during gabapentin treatment. Tremor amplitude was reduced to 79% +/- 11% and sway area to 71% +/- 11% of the placebo state. QOL improved in all patients, no adverse drug effects were noted, and symptomatic benefit was maintained at follow-up (mean = 19 months). The findings confirm that gabapentin is an effective treatment for OT, reducing both tremor and postural instability and improving quality of life, and support its use as add-on or first-line therapy for OT.
    Movement Disorders 08/2006; 21(7):900-5. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Primary orthostatic tremor (OT) is characterized by leg tremor and instability on standing. High frequency (13-18 Hz) tremor bursting is present in leg muscles during stance, and posturography has shown greater than normal sway. We report on an open-label add-on study of gabapentin in 6 patients with OT. Six patients were studied with surface electromyography, force platform posturography, and a modified Parkinson's disease questionnaire (PDQ-39) quality of life (QOL) scale before and during treatment with gabapentin 300 mg t.d.s. If on other medications for OT, these were continued unchanged. Of the 6 patients, 4 reported a subjective benefit of 50 to 75% with gabapentin, 3 of whom showed reduced tremor amplitude and postural sway of up to 70%. Dynamic balance improved in all 3 patients who completed the protocol. QOL data from 5 patients showed improvement in all cases. No adverse effects were noted. Gabapentin may improve tremor, stability, and QOL in patients with OT, and symptomatic response correlated with a reduction in tremor amplitude and postural sway. The findings confirm previous reports of symptomatic benefit with gabapentin and provide justification for larger controlled clinical trials. Further work is required to establish the optimal dosage and to validate the methods used to quantify the response to treatment.
    Movement Disorders 08/2005; 20(7):865-70. · 4.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

134 Citations
40.05 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Australian Neuro-Muscular Research Institute Ltd (ANRI)
      Perth City, Western Australia, Australia
  • 2005–2013
    • University of Western Australia
      • Australian Neuromuscular Research Institute (ANRI)
      Perth, Western Australia, Australia