Adaptive motor learning and its consolidation in multiple sclerosis
Author(s): ,
L. Nakchbandi
Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
C. Nguemeni
Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
D. Zeller
Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
ECTRIMS Online Library. Nakchbandi L. Oct 12, 2018; 228933; P1093
Luis Nakchbandi
Luis Nakchbandi
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Abstract: P1093

Type: Poster Sessions

Abstract Category: Pathology and pathogenesis of MS - Neurobiology

Background: The clinical course of multiple sclerosis (MS) is diverse and heterogeneous. The discrepancy between functional impairment and brain imaging findings in patients with MS might be the result of differential compensatory/adaptive capacities. Preserved adaptive abilities could contribute to a favourable clinical course of the disease.
Objective: To investigate motor adaptation and consolidation abilities of MS patients in a visual motor adaptation task.
Methods: 20 MS patients (EDSS-Score< 6) and 20 matched healthy controls were included in the study. All participants completed 3 sessions of a visuomotor adaptation task with 13 blocks of 32 trials each. The first session (T0) was repeated after ca. 24h (T1) and 72h (T2). In every trial, participants made reaching movements to a target with changing positions on a monitor. A clockwise rotation angle of 30° was introduced as a perturbation during the active learning part of the task. We characterized the performance changes during motor learning by evaluating the deviation error relative to baseline, before (baseline), during (adaptation) and after the perturbation ended (after-effect).
Results: Overall, there was no difference in performance between the patients and the controls on the first day of training (T0). Patients showed a significant decrease of their deviation angle despite the perturbation during the adaptation phase when compared to controls on the second and the third day of trials (T1: 35.1%±18.7% vs. 22.5%±19.8%; p=0.049 and T2: 29.4%±20.0% vs. 14.5%±22.0%; p=0.031). We analyzed to which extend participants initially recalled the latest adaptation rate of the previous session on T1 and T2 (T1/T0 and T2/T1) as a mark of consolidation.
On both T1 and T2, patients had a significantly reduced consolidation when compared to controls (T1: 0.4±0.5 vs. 0.7±0.3; p=0.036; T2: 0.5±0.5 vs. 0.8±0.4; p=0.039).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that patients with MS have a preserved ability to show adaptive learning during the visuomotor rotation task but are limited in recalling the learned task. This implies intact adaptation but indicates a possibly limited consolidation process in patients in MS. Future studies are needed to define the neurobiological substrates of this plasticity and the extent to which it can influence clinical outcomes.
Disclosure: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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