Congratulations to Drs. Michael S. Okun, Michael S. Jaffee, Nikolaus R. McFarland, and David E. Vaillancourt on the publication of “Distinct cortical and subcortical predictors of Purdue Pegboard decline in Parkinson’s disease and atypical parkinsonism, which appears in the June 2023 issue of Nature Partner Journals.
Objective measures of disease progression are critically needed in research on Parkinson’s disease (PD) and atypical Parkinsonism but may be hindered by both practicality and cost. The Purdue Pegboard Test (PPT) is objective, has high test-retest reliability, and has a low cost. The goals of this study were to determine: (1) longitudinal changes in PPT in a multisite cohort of patients with PD, atypical Parkinsonism, and healthy controls; (2) whether PPT performance reflects brain pathology revealed by neuroimaging; (3) quantify kinematic deficits shown by PD patients during PPT. Parkinsonian patients showed a decline in PPT performance that correlated with motor symptom progression, which was not seen in controls. Neuroimaging measures from basal ganglia were significant predictors of PPT performance in PD, whereas cortical, basal ganglia, and cerebellar regions were predictors for atypical Parkinsonism. Accelerometry in a subset of PD patients showed a diminished range of acceleration and irregular patterns of acceleration, which correlated with PPT scores.