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JMD : Journal of Movement Disorders

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1 "David W. Burks"
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Original Article
Dopamine Does Not Appear to Affect Mental Rotation in Parkinson’s Disease
Gregory P. Crucian, Sheyan Armaghani, Avan Armaghani, Paul S. Foster, David W. Burks, Barry Skoblar, Valeria Drago, Kenneth M. Heilman
J Mov Disord. 2014;7(2):77-83.   Published online October 30, 2014
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14802/jmd.14011
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objective Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) often have deficits with mental rotation (MR). The neuropathological factors underlying these deficits, however, remain to be elucidated. One hypothesis suggests that dopamine depletion in nigro-striatal systems adversely influences MR. Another hypothesis suggests that deterioration of cortical (fronto-temporo-parietal basal ganglia) networks that mediate this function are responsible for this deficit. The goal of this study was to test the dopamine hypothesis by determining if dopamine abstinence negatively influences MR performance.
Methods Thirty three non-demented right-handed individuals with PD were assess for their ability to perform a pencil and paper MR test while “on” and “off” dopaminergic medications. Dopamine abstinence followed the typical overnight withdrawal procedures.
Results No differences in mental rotation abilities were found between “on” and “off” dopaminergic medications.
Conclusions These results suggest that other neuropathological factors, such as cortical-basal ganglia neurodegeneration, or dysfunction of other neurotransmitters systems, might account for these cognitive deficits and future research will have to test these alternative hypotheses.

JMD : Journal of Movement Disorders