Brain activity response to visual cues for gait impairment in Parkinson’s disease: an EEG study

Stuart, Sam, Wagner, Johanna, Makeig, Scott and Mancini, Martina (2021) Brain activity response to visual cues for gait impairment in Parkinson’s disease: an EEG study. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. p. 154596832110413. ISSN 1545-9683 (In Press)

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Background: Gait impairments are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and increase falls risk. Visual cues can improve gait in PD, particularly freezing of gait (FOG), but mechanisms involved in visual cue response are unknown. This study aimed to examine brain activity in response to visual cues in people with PD who do (PD+FOG) and don’t report FOG (PD-FOG), and explore relationships between attention, brain activity and gait.
Methods: Mobile EEG measured brain activity during gait in 20 healthy older adults and 43 PD participants (n=22 PD+FOG, n=21 PD-FOG). Participants walked for two-minutes with and without visual cues (transverse lines to step over). We report power spectral density (PSD) in Delta (1–4Hz), Theta (4–7Hz), Alpha (8–12Hz), Beta (14–24Hz) and Gamma (30–50Hz) bands within clusters of similarly brain localized independent component sources.
Results: PSDs within the parietal and occipital lobes were altered when walking with visual cues in PD, particularly in PD+FOG. Between group, differences suggested that parietal sources in PD, particularly with PD+FOG, had larger activity compared to healthy older adults when walking. Within group, visual cues altered brain activity in PD, particularly in PD+FOG, within visual processing brain regions. In PD participants, brain activity differences with cues correlated with gait improvements, and in PD+FOG those with worse attention required more visual attentional processing (reduced alpha PSD) in the occipital lobe.
Conclusions: Visual cues improve gait and influence brain activity during walking in PD, particularly in PD+FOG. Findings may allow development of more effective therapeutics.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was funded by a Parkinson’s Foundation post-doctoral fellowship for basic scientists (PF-FBS-1898-18-01) awarded to Dr Samuel Stuart, by a grant to Dr Makeig and colleagues from NIH (R01-NS047293) and, by a gift to UC San Diego from The Swartz Foundation (Sag Harbor, NY, USA).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Electroencephalography (EEG), brain activity, walking, Parkinson disease, visual cues
Subjects: B100 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2021 15:49
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2021 10:00

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