Can Brain Waves Predict Cognitive Dysfunction in Parkinson's?

Tanyatorn Ghanjanasak, DO, for Medscape

September 21, 2022

The study covered in this summary was published on medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed.

Key Takeaway

  • This study demonstrates that cue-evoked midfrontal delta/theta signals were directly related to cognition in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Why This Matters

  • The study provides insight into the nature of low-frequency rhythms that could be used to predict cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson's disease.

  • This mechanistic insight could enable the development of new biomarkers and therapies targeted at the cognitive symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Study Design

  • A cohort of 100 patients with Parkinson's disease and 49 controls were recruited from the University of Iowa Movement Disorder Clinic between 2017 and 2021 to perform a variety of cognitive and motor tasks, including the Simon, oddball, and interval timing tasks.

  • Patients were excluded for electrical noise, inability to perform enough trials, technical issues, or fatigue.

  • All participants sat in a quiet room in front of a computer for behavioral assays during electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings.

  • All task stimuli were presented via the PsychToolbox-3 functions in MATLAB.

  • Time-frequency analyses were used to evaluate midfrontal delta/theta rhythms.

  • Response times were evaluated during the Simon, oddball, and interval timing tasks.

  • Emphasis was placed on cue-evoked delta (1-4 Hz) and theta (4-7 Hz) rhythms from a single midfrontal EEG electrode (Cz).

Key Results

  • Parkinson's disease–related cognitive dysfunction was associated with increased response time latencies and decreased midfrontal delta power across the Simon, oddball, and interval timing tasks.

  • The first principal component of evoked EEG features from a single electrode (Cz) strongly correlated with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) (rho = 0.36) and with NIH Toolbox executive function scores (rho = 0.46) in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Limitations

  • The data were supported by grants NIH P20NS123151 and R01NS100849 to NSN and NRSA F32 AG069445-01 to RC.

  • The authors declared no competing interests.

Disclosures

  • The data were supported by grants NIH P20NS123151 and R01NS100849 to NSN and NRSA F32 AG069445-01 to RC.

  • The authors declared no competing interests.

This is a summary of a preprint research study, "Evoked Midfrontal Activity Predicts Cognitive Dysfunction in Parkinson's Disease," written by Arun Singh and colleagues from the University of Iowa and colleagues and published on medRxiv.org. The summary has been provided to you by Medscape. This study has not yet been peer reviewed. The full text of the study can be found on medRxiv.org.

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