Effect of micro lesions of the basal ganglia on ballistic movements in patients with deep brain stimulation

Arun Singh, Jan H. Mehrkens, Kai Bötzel

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4 Scopus citations


Bradykinesia and hypokinesia are the prominent symptoms of substantia nigra degeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD). In segmental dystonia, movements of not affected limbs are not impaired. Here we studied the impact of the mere implantation of stimulation electrodes on the performance of fast movements in these two groups. We investigated 9 PD patients with subthalamic electrodes and 9 patients with segmental dystonia with electrodes in the globus pallidus internum. Patients were studied on the first postoperative day without electrical stimulation of the electrodes. Subjects had to perform boxing movements with either touching the target or stopping the fist in front of the target. PD subjects performed significantly faster movements in the touch-task only as compared to dystonic patients. No difference was seen in the stopping task. In conclusion, our findings suggest that a small subthalamic lesion in individuals with PD specifically reverses bradykinesia during simple ballistic movements (touch) but not during complex ones requiring more pre-programming (no-touch paradigm).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-177
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.S. was supported by Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences and by the Lüneburg heritage . We thank Ms. K. Ogston for careful copyediting of the manuscript.


  • Ballistic movements
  • Bradykinesia
  • Dystonia
  • Hypokinesia
  • Parkinson's disease


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