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Functional Neurology

Neurophysiological changes after cognitive-motor tasks in Parkinson’s disease patients with deep brain stimulation

Original Article, 177 - 187
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Abstract
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Chronic deep brain stimulation (CDBS) is a surgical treatment that reduces the cardinal signs of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although CDBS has been in use for a long time, very little has been reported on its supposed effects on cognition, particularly in relation to implants in the subthalamic nucleus. The results of the rare studies that do exist are controversial, and in many cases the studies have several design flaws. The present study compared cortical activation during three tasks (action execution, action observation and motor imagery) in PD patients with and without subthalamic implants. The study sample consisted of 36 volunteers, divided into three groups: healthy controls, PD patients with CDBS of the subthalamic nucleus, and PD patients without CDBS. Through a quantitative electroencephalogram assessment, absolute beta power was examined to observe the interaction between group and cognitive motor tasks. The electrodes at sites Fp1, Fp2, F7, F8, F3, Fz and F4, located in the prefrontal and frontal regions, were analyzed and a Group x Task interaction (p < 0.05) was observed for all of them. These findings suggest that CDBS of the subthalamic nucleus is efficient in reducing some of the effects of PD in these study tasks. At the same time, the dysfunctions found in several cortical areas, characteristic of PD, limited the effects of the CDBS. The results of this study suggest that CDBS of the subthalamic nucleus can modulate cognitive-motor aspects of PD.

Vol. XXXIV (No. 3) 2019 July/September

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