Visual control improves the accuracy of hand positioning in Huntington’s disease
Background: The study aimed at demonstrating dependence of visual feedback during hand and finger positioning task performance among Huntington’s disease patients in comparison to patients with Parkinson’s disease and cervical dystonia. Material and methods: Eighty-nine patients participated in the study (23 with Huntington’s disease, 25 with Parkinson’s disease with dyskinesias, 21 with Parkinson’s disease without dyskinesias, and 20 with cervical dystonia), scoring ≥20 points on Mini-Mental State Examination in order to assure comprehension of task instructions. Neurological examination comprised of the motor section from the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale for Huntington’s disease, the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale Part II–IV for Parkinson’s disease and the Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale for cervical dystonia. In order to compare hand position accuracy under visually controlled and blindfolded conditions, the patient imitated each of the 10 examiner’s hand postures twice, once under the visual control condition and once with no visual feedback provided. Results: Huntington’s disease patients imitated examiner’s hand positions less accurately under blindfolded condition in comparison to Parkinson’s disease without dyskinesias and cervical dystonia participants. Under visually controlled condition there were no significant inter-group differences. Conclusions: Huntington’s disease patients exhibit higher dependence on visual feedback while performing motor tasks than Parkinson’s disease and cervical dystonia patients. Possible improvement of movement precision in Huntington’s disease with the use of visual cues could be potentially useful in the patients’ rehabilitation.