Movement control of manipulative tasks in patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

Serrien, Deborah J; Nirkko, Arto C; Loher, Thomas J; Lövblad, Karl-Olof; Burgunder, Jean-Marc; Wiesendanger, Mario (2002). Movement control of manipulative tasks in patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Brain, 125(Pt 2), pp. 290-300. Oxford: Oxford University Press 10.1093/brain/awf024

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When a hand-held object is moved, grip and load force are accurately coordinated for establishing grasp stability. In the present work, the question was raised whether patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (TS), who show tic-like movements, are impaired in grip-load force control when executing a manipulative task. To this end, we assessed force regulation during action patterns that required rhythmical unimanual or bimanual (iso-directional/anti-directional) movements. Results showed that the profile of grip-load force ratio was characterized by maxima and minima that were realized at upward and downward hand positions, respectively. TS patients showed increased force ratios during unimanual and bimanual movements, compared with control subjects, indicative of an inaccurate specification of the precision grip. Functional imaging data complemented the behavioural results and revealed that secondary motor areas showed no (or greatly reduced) activation in TS patients when executing the movement tasks as compared with baseline conditions. This indicates that the metabolic level in the secondary motor areas was equal during rest and task performance. At the neuronal level, this observation suggests that these cortical areas were continuously involved in movement preparation. Based on these data, we conclude that the ongoing activation of secondary motor areas may be explained by the TS patients' involuntary urges to move. Accordingly, interference will prevent an accurate planning of voluntary behaviour. Together, these findings reveal modulations in movement organization in patients with TS and exemplify degrading consequences for manual function.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Nirkko, Arto C. and Burgunder, Jean-Marc






Oxford University Press




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:05

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 13:35

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URI: (FactScience: 120495)

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