Differences in muscle strength in Parkinsonian patients affected on the right and left side

Giuseppe Frazzitta, Davide Ferrazzoli, Roberto Maestri, Roberta Rovescala, Gabriele Guaglio, Rossana Bera, Daniele Volpe, Gianni Pezzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Muscular weakness is a frequent cause of instability that contributes to falls in Parkinson's disease (PD). Isokinetic dynamometry is a method of muscle assessment useful to measure the muscular strength giving a quantification of the weakness, but only few studies about isokinetic assessment were performed in PD. The aims of the study were to evaluate the muscle strength in PD and to investigate the differences in patients affected on the right and left side. Methods: Knee flexor and extensor muscles strength was assessed using an isokinetic dynamometer in 25 patients in stage 3 H&Y and in 15 healthy controls. Subjects were tested in both legs at three fixed angular velocities: 90°/s, 120°/s, 180°/s. Results: Considering the whole population of Parkinsonians, no difference in strength was observed with respect to controls. Considering the side, patients affected on the right side showed a clear tendency to be weaker than patients affected on the left side and controls. Conclusions: PD patients affected on the right side, but not those affected on the left side, had a reduction in muscle strength as compared to controls. We postulate a central origin deficit in muscle strength in PD. It is known that dopamine transporter binding is more severely reduced in the left posterior putamen and our results suggest that the control of the muscle strength in PD is linked to the right-left hemispheric asymmetry of the functional organization of basal ganglia and with their connections to cortical motor and pre-motor areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0121251
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 25 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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