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Effect of medication withdrawal on response preparation in Parkinson’s disease: Preliminary evidence
Kristie A. Spencer

The purpose of this investigation is to identify and characterize deficits in response maintenance and switching in adults with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD), and to determine how these deficits change with withdrawal of dopaminergic medications. Converging evidence suggests that people with IPD have reduced ability to maintain a prepared response or to switch from a prepared response to a novel response. The potential influence of these preparatory deficits on the speech of people with IPD has been largely ignored. As priming paradigms can be used to evaluate response preparation (Yaniv et al., 1990), two comparative priming tasks were completed by adults with IPD, both on and off of dopaminergic medications, and healthy controls. The speech reaction time protocol entailed increased motor programming demands, while the button-press reaction time task required relatively increased cognitive processing but decreased motor programming demands. Participants also completed a battery of speech, language and cognitive tests to determine the relationship between response priming patterns and cognitive/speech impairments. Initial results indicate that the priming tasks are assessing different aspects of response preparation, and these tasks are sensitive to possible response preparation deficits in participants with IPD. Changes to priming patterns with medication withdrawal will be discussed.

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