Loss of presynaptic inhibition for step initiation in parkinsonian individuals with freezing of gait

Jumes Leopoldino Oliveira Lira, Carlos Ugrinowitsch, Daniel Boari Coelho, Luis Augusto Teixeira, Andrea Cristina de Lima-Pardini, Fernando Henrique Magalhães, Egberto Reis Barbosa, Fay B. Horak, Carla Silva-Batista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Key points: Individuals with freezing of gait (FoG) due to Parkinson's disease (PD) have small and long anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) associated with delayed step initiation. Individuals with FoG (‘freezers’) may require functional reorganization of spinal mechanisms to perform APAs due to supraspinal dysfunction. As presynaptic inhibition (PSI) is centrally modulated to allow execution of supraspinal motor commands, it may be deficient in freezers during APAs. We show that freezers presented PSI in quiet stance (control task), but they presented loss of PSI (i.e. higher ratio of the conditioned H-reflex relative to the test H-reflex) during APAs before step initiation (functional task), whereas non-freezers and healthy control individuals presented PSI in both the tasks. The loss of PSI in freezers was associated with both small APA amplitudes and FoG severity. We hypothesize that loss of PSI during APAs for step initiation in freezers may be due to FoG. Abstract: Freezing of gait (FoG) in Parkinson's disease involves deficient anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs), resulting in a cessation of step initiation due to supraspinal dysfunction. Individuals with FoG (‘freezers’) may require functional reorganization of spinal mechanisms to perform APAs. As presynaptic inhibition (PSI) is centrally modulated to allow execution of supraspinal motor commands, here we hypothesized a loss of PSI in freezers during APA for step initiation, which would be associated with FoG severity. Seventy individuals [27 freezers, 22 non-freezers, and 21 age-matched healthy controls (HC)] performed a ‘GO’-commanded step initiation task on a force platform under three conditions: (1) without electrical stimulation, (2) test Hoffman reflex (H-reflex) and (3) conditioned H-reflex. They also performed a control task (quiet stance). In the step initiation task, the H-reflexes were evoked on the soleus muscle when the amplitude of the APA exceeded 10–20% of the mean baseline mediolateral force. PSI was quantified by the ratio of the conditioned H-reflex relative to the test H-reflex in both the tasks. Objective assessment of FoG severity (FoG-ratio) was performed. Freezers presented lower PSI levels during quiet stance than non-freezers and HC (P < 0.05). During step initiation, freezers presented loss of PSI and lower APA amplitudes than non-freezers and HC (P < 0.05). Significant correlations were only found for freezers between loss of PSI and FoG-ratio (r = 0.59, P = 0.0005) and loss of PSI and APA amplitude (r = −0.35, P < 0.036). Our findings suggest that loss of PSI for step initiation in freezers may be due to FoG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1611-1624
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physiology
Volume598
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Keywords

  • H-reflex
  • inhibition
  • sensorimotor integration
  • spinal inhibitory mechanism
  • step initiation
  • ‘freezers’

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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