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Differential dopaminergic modulation of spontaneous cortico–subthalamic activity in parkinson’s disease

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  • Abhinav Sharma, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • ,
  • Diego Vidaurre
  • Jan Vesper, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • ,
  • Alfons Schnitzler, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • ,
  • Esther Florin, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Pathological oscillations including elevated beta activity in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and between STN and cortical areas are a hallmark of neural activity in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Oscillations also play an important role in normal physiological processes and serve distinct functional roles at different points in time. We characterised the effect of dopaminergic medication on oscillatory whole-brain networks in PD in a time-resolved manner by employing a hidden Markov model on combined STN local field potentials and magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings from 17 PD patients. Dopaminergic medication led to coherence within the medial and orbitofrontal cortex in the delta/theta frequency range. This is in line with known side effects of dopamine treatment such as deteriorated executive functions in PD. In addition, dopamine caused the beta band activity to switch from an STN-mediated motor network to a frontoparietal-mediated one. In contrast, dopamine did not modify local STN–STN coherence in PD. STN–STN synchrony emerged both on and off medication. By providing electrophysiological evidence for the differential effects of dopaminergic medication on the discovered networks, our findings open further avenues for electrical and pharmacological interventions in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere66057
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

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