Paroxysmal Slow-Wave Events Are Uncommon in Parkinson’s Disease

Dan Z. Milikovsky, Yotam Sharabi, Nir Giladi, Anat Mirelman, Ronen Sosnik, Firas Fahoum, Inbal Maidan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is currently considered to be a multisystem neurodegenerative disease that involves cognitive alterations. EEG slowing has been associated with cognitive decline in various neurological diseases, such as PD, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and epilepsy, indicating cortical involvement. A novel method revealed that this EEG slowing is composed of paroxysmal slow-wave events (PSWE) in AD and epilepsy, but in PD it has not been tested yet. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the presence of PSWE in PD as a biomarker for cortical involvement. Methods: 31 PD patients, 28 healthy controls, and 18 juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) patients (served as positive control), underwent four minutes of resting-state EEG. Spectral analyses were performed to identify PSWEs in nine brain regions. Mixed-model analysis was used to compare between groups and brain regions. The correlation between PSWEs and PD duration was examined using Spearman’s test. Results: No significant differences in the number of PSWEs were observed between PD patients and controls (p > 0.478) in all brain regions. In contrast, JME patients showed a higher number of PSWEs than healthy controls in specific brain regions (p < 0.023). Specifically in the PD group, we found that a higher number of PSWEs correlated with longer disease duration. Conclusions: This study is the first to examine the temporal characteristics of EEG slowing in PD by measuring the occurrence of PSWEs. Our findings indicate that PD patients who are cognitively intact do not have electrographic manifestations of cortical involvement. However, the correlation between PSWEs and disease duration may support future studies of repeated EEG recordings along the disease course to detect early signs of cortical involvement in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number918
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • EEG
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • biomarker
  • epilepsy
  • paroxysmal slow-wave events


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