Movement activation and inhibition in Parkinson's disease: A functional imaging study

Elizabeth A. Disbrow, Karen A. Sigvardt, Elizabeth A. Franz, Robert S. Turner, Kim A. Russo, Leighton B. Hinkley, Timothy J. Herron, Maria I. Ventura, Lin Zhang, Norika O Malhado-Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Parkinson's disease (PD), traditionally considered a movement disorder, has been shown to affect executive function such as the ability to adapt behavior in response to new environmental situations. Objective: to identify the impact of PD on neural substrates subserving two specific components of normal movement which we refer to as activation (initiating an un-cued response) and inhibition (suppressing a cued response). Methods: We used fMRI to measure pre-movement processes associated with activating an un-cued response and inhibiting a cued response plan in 13 PD (ON anti-parkinsonian medications) and 13 control subjects. Subjects were shown a visual arrow cue followed by a matched or mismatched response target that instructed them to respond with a right, left, or bilateral button press. In mismatched trials, an un-cued (new) response was initiated, or the previously cued response was suppressed. Results: We were able to isolate pre-movement responses in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, specifically in the right hemisphere. During the activation of an un-cued movement, PD subjects showed decreased activity in the putamen and increased cortical activity in bilateral DLPFC, SMA, subcentral gyrus and inferior frontal operculum. During inhibition of a previously cued movement, the PD group showed increased activation in SMA, S1/M1, premotor and superior parietal areas. Conclusion: Right DLPFC plays a role in pre-movement processes, and DLPFC activity is abnormal in PD. Decreased specificity of responses was observed in multiple ROI's. The basal ganglia are involved in circuits that coordinate activation and inhibition involved in action selection as well as execution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • Executive function
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Movement activation and inhibition in Parkinson's disease: A functional imaging study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this