Age Hurts Motor Response Inhibition

As healthy adults age their motor response inhibition may become impaired, according to Ali Shoraka, MD, a Researcher Coordinator at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. The study is due to be presented in a poster session on Apr. 20 at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Washington, DC.

As healthy adults age their motor response inhibition may become impaired, according to Ali Shoraka, MD, a Researcher Coordinator at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. The study is due to be presented in a poster session on Apr. 20 at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Washington, DC.

Shoraka and colleagues created two groups of healthy right-handed adults to find the difference in interhemispheric communication by performing 3 tests. The first group consisted of 13 adults older than age 65 and the second had 20 adults younger than 65.

During the crossed response inhibition test the examiner would touch the participants’ hand and they would raise the opposite hand. For the unimanual response inhibition, Luria’s test of echopraxia, if the examiner raised one finger the participant would have to raise 2, and vice versa. Finally, in the bimanual coordination, Luria’s alternating hand postures test, participants would open one hand while closing the other and then switch and close one while opening the other.

While the groups showed no differences when performing Luria’s test of echopraxia, there were varying outcomes for the other 2 tests.

“The older (versus the younger) adults made more errors on the test of crossed response inhibition and Luria’s alternating hand postures test, two tests that require interhemispheric communication,” the authors said.

This suggests that bimanual coordination and motor response inhibition are affected by age.