Exploring the cortical and subcortical functional magnetic resonance imaging changes associated with freezing in Parkinson's disease.
ABSTRACT Freezing of gait is a devastating symptom of advanced Parkinson's disease yet the neural correlates of this phenomenon remain poorly understood. In this study, severity of freezing of gait was assessed in 18 patients with Parkinson's disease on a series of timed 'up and go' tasks, in which all patients suffered from episodes of clinical freezing of gait. The same patients also underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging with a virtual reality gait paradigm, performance on which has recently been shown to correlate with actual episodes of freezing of gait. Statistical parametric maps were created that compared the blood oxygen level-dependent response associated with paroxysmal motor arrests (freezing) to periods of normal motor output. The results of a random effects analysis revealed that these events were associated with a decreased blood oxygen level-dependent response in sensorimotor regions and an increased response within frontoparietal cortical regions. These signal changes were inversely correlated with the severity of clinical freezing of gait. Motor arrests were also associated with decreased blood oxygen level-dependent signal bilaterally in the head of caudate nucleus, the thalamus and the globus pallidus internus. Utilizing a mixed event-related/block design, we found that the decreased blood oxygen level-dependent response in the globus pallidus and the subthalamic nucleus persisted even after controlling for the effects of cognitive load, a finding which supports the notion that paroxysmal increases in basal ganglia outflow are associated with the freezing phenomenon. This method also revealed a decrease in the blood oxygen level-dependent response within the mesencephalic locomotor region during motor arrests, the magnitude of which was positively correlated with the severity of clinical freezing of gait. These results provide novel insights into the pathophysiology underlying freezing of gait and lend support to models of freezing of gait that implicate dysfunction across coordinated neural networks.
- SourceAvailable from: Brian Lau[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The brainstem pedunculopontine nucleus has a likely, although unclear, role in gait control, and is a potential deep brain stimulation target for treating resistant gait disorders. These disorders are a major therapeutic challenge for the ageing population, especially in Parkinson's disease where gait and balance disorders can become resistant to both dopaminergic medication and subthalamic nucleus stimulation. Here, we present electrophysiological evidence that the pedunculopontine and subthalamic nuclei are involved in distinct aspects of gait using a locomotor imagery task in 14 patients with Parkinson's disease undergoing surgery for the implantation of pedunculopontine or subthalamic nuclei deep brain stimulation electrodes. We performed electrophysiological recordings in two phases, once during surgery, and again several days after surgery in a subset of patients. The majority of pedunculopontine nucleus neurons (57%) recorded intrasurgically exhibited changes in activity related to different task components, with 29% modulated during visual stimulation, 41% modulated during voluntary hand movement, and 49% modulated during imaginary gait. Pedunculopontine nucleus local field potentials recorded post-surgically were modulated in the beta and gamma bands during visual and motor events, and we observed alpha and beta band synchronization that was sustained for the duration of imaginary gait and spatially localized within the pedunculopontine nucleus. In contrast, significantly fewer subthalamic nucleus neurons (27%) recorded intrasurgically were modulated during the locomotor imagery, with most increasing or decreasing activity phasically during the hand movement that initiated or terminated imaginary gait. Our data support the hypothesis that the pedunculopontine nucleus influences gait control in manners extending beyond simply driving pattern generation. In contrast, the subthalamic nucleus seems to control movement execution that is not likely to be gait-specific. These data highlight the crucial role of these two nuclei in motor control and shed light on the complex functions of the lateral mesencephalus in humans. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25765327Brain 05/2015; 138(5):1284-1296. DOI:10.1093/brain/awv047 · 10.23 Impact Factor
- Brain 11/2014; 138(5). DOI:10.1093/brain/awu315 · 10.23 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Freezing of gait is a frequent and disabling symptom experienced by many patients with Parkinson’s disease. A number of executive deficits have been shown to be associated with the phenomenon suggesting a common underlying pathophysiology, which as of yet remains unclear. Neuroimaging studies have also implicated the role of the cognitive control network in patients with freezing. To explore this concept, the current study examined error-monitoring as a measure of cognitive control. Thirty-four patients with and thirty-eight without freezing of gait, who were otherwise well matched on disease severity, completed a Colour-Word Interference Task that allowed the specific assessment of error monitoring during conflict. Whilst both groups performed colour-naming and word-reading tasks equally well, those patients with freezing showed a pattern between conditions whereby they were better able to monitor performance and self-correct errors in the pure inhibition task but not after a switching rule was introduced. The novel results shown here provide insight into possible pathophysiological mechanisms involved in cognitive load and error monitoring in patients with freezing of gait. These results provide further evidence for the role of functional frontostriatal circuitry impairments in patients with freezing of gait and have implications for future studies and possible therapeutic interventions.Journal of Neural Transmission 07/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00702-014-1271-6 · 2.87 Impact Factor