Perceptions of effort during handgrip and tongue elevation in Parkinson's disease

Nancy Pearl Solomon, Donald A. Robin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Fatigue and the accompanying perception of effort are often heightened in Parkinson's disease. Objectives: To compare performance on three sense-of-effort tasks between patients with PD and matched neurologically normal control subjects. Methods: Sixteen PD subjects and 16 normal subjects performed three tasks to assess sense of effort: self-ratings of effort using direct-magnitude estimation, generating pressures at various levels of effort, and sustaining a submaximal level of effort. The latter two tasks were done with handgrip and tongue elevation. Results: Two of the three tasks successfully differentiated the groups. Subjects with PD provided significantly higher ratings of effort for general daily activities and for speech. During the constant-effort task, pressure curves decayed more rapidly for the PD subjects. Conclusions: Performance by PD subjects on the constant-effort task resembled that by normal adults who were pre-fatigued in previous experiments. Results support greater than normal sense-of-effort related to fatigue in PD, and provide preliminary validation of a performance-based physiologic task to assess abnormal sense of effort in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Effort
  • Fatigue
  • Hand
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Tongue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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