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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2015, Article ID 307474, 5 pages
Research Article

The Influence of Parkinson’s Disease Motor Symptom Asymmetry on Hand Performance: An Examination of the Grooved Pegboard Task

1Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
2Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3C5
3Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto, 500 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1V7
4Sun Life Financial Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre (MDRC), Wilfrid Laurier University, 66 Hickory Street, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3J5

Received 28 August 2015; Accepted 8 November 2015

Academic Editor: Bente R. Jensen

Copyright © 2015 Sara M. Scharoun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examined the influence of motor symptom asymmetry in Parkinson’s disease (PD) on Grooved Pegboard (GP) performance in right-handed participants. The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale was used to assess motor symptoms and separate participants with PD into two groups (right-arm affected, left-arm affected) for comparison with a group of healthy older adults. Participants completed the place and replace GP tasks two times with both hands. Laterality quotients were computed to quantify performance differences between the two hands. Comparisons among the three groups indicated that when the nonpreferred hand is affected by PD motor symptoms, superior preferred hand performance (as seen in healthy older adults) is further exaggerated in tasks that require precision (i.e., place task). Regardless of the task, when the preferred hand is affected, there is an evident shift to superior left-hand performance, which may inevitably manifest as a switch in hand preference. Results add to the discussion of the relationship between handedness and motor symptom asymmetry in PD.