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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8582740, 6 pages
Research Article

Dual-Task Performance in GBA Parkinson’s Disease

1Department of Neurodegeneration, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
2German Research Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
3Department of Geriatrics and Clinic of Geriatric Rehabilitation, Robert-Bosch-Hospital, Stuttgart, Germany
4Department of Neurology, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany
5Network Aging Research, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Walter Maetzler

Received 7 February 2017; Revised 29 May 2017; Accepted 27 June 2017; Published 27 July 2017

Academic Editor: Antonio Pisani

Copyright © 2017 Karin Srulijes 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.


Introduction. Parkinson’s disease patients carrying a heterozygous mutation in the gene glucocerebrosidase (GBA-PD) show faster motor and cognitive decline than idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (iPD) patients, but the mechanisms behind this observation are not well understood. Successful dual tasking (DT) requires a smooth integration of motor and nonmotor operations. This study compared the DT performances between GBA-PD and iPD patients. Methods. Eleven GBA-PD patients (p.N370S, p.L444P) and eleven matched iPD patients were included. Clinical characterization included a motor score (Unified PD Rating Scale-III, UPDRS-III) and nonmotor scores (Montreal Cognitive Assessment, MoCA, and Beck’s Depression Inventory). Quantitative gait analysis during the single-task (ST) and DT assessments was performed using a wearable sensor unit. These parameters corrected for UPDRS and MoCA were then compared between the groups. Results. Under the DT condition “walking while checking boxes,” GBA-PD patients showed slower gait and box-checking speeds than iPD patients. GBA-PD and iPD patients did not show significant differences regarding dual-task costs. Conclusion. This pilot study suggests that DT performance with a secondary motor task is worse in GBA-PD than in iPD patients. This finding may be associated with the known enhanced motor and cognitive deficits in GBA-PD compared to iPD and should motivate further studies.