Stopwatch training improves cognitive functions in patients with Parkinson's disease
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Original versionHonma, M, Murakami, H, Yabe, Y, et al. Stopwatch training improves cognitive functions in patients with Parkinson's disease. J Neurosci Res. 2021; 99: 1325– 1336. https://doi.org/10.1002/jnr.24812
Parkinson's disease (PD) impairs various cognitive functions, including time perception. Dysfunctional time perception in PD is poorly understood, and no study has investigated the rehabilitation of time perception in patients with PD. We aimed to induce the recovery of time perception in PD patients and investigated the potential relationship between recovery and cognitive functions/domains other than time perception. Sixty patients with PD (27 females) and 20 healthy controls (10 females) were recruited. The participants underwent a feedback training protocol for 4 weeks to improve the accuracy of subjective spatial distance or time duration using a ruler or stopwatch, respectively. They participated in three tests at weekly intervals, each comprising 10 types of cognitive tasks and assessments. After duration feedback training for 1 month, performance on the Go/No-go task, Stroop task, and impulsivity assessment improved in patients with PD, while no effect was observed after distance feedback training. Additionally, the effect of training on duration production correlated with extended reaction time and improved accuracy in the Go/No-go and Stroop tasks. These findings suggest that time perception is functionally linked to inhibitory systems. If the feedback training protocol can modulate and maintain time perception, it may improve various cognitive/psychiatric functions in patients with PD. It may also be useful in the treatment of diseases other than PD that cause dysfunctions in temporal processing.