Supplementary Motor Area Activity Differs in Parkinson’s Disease with and without Freezing of Gait

J. Sebastian Marquez*, Ronny P. Bartsch, Moritz Günther, S. M.Shafiul Hasan, Or Koren, Meir Plotnik, Ou Bai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study aimed to investigate the neural changes that differentiate Parkinson’s disease patients with freezing of gait and age-matched controls, using ambulatory electroencephalography event-related features. Compared to controls, definite freezers exhibited significantly less alpha desynchronization at the motor cortex about 300 ms before and after the start of overground walking and decreased low-beta desynchronization about 300 ms before and about 300 and 700 ms after walking onset. The late slope of motor potentials also differed in the sensory and motor areas between groups of controls, definite, and probable freezers. This difference was found both in preparation and during the execution of normal walking. The average frontal peak of motor potential was also found to be largely reduced in the definite freezers compared with the probable freezers and controls. These findings provide valuable insights into the underlying structures that are affected in patients with freezing of gait, which could be used to tailor drug development and personalize drug care for disease subtypes. In addition, the study’s findings can help in the evaluation and validation of nonpharmacological therapies for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5033835
JournalParkinson's Disease
StatePublished - 2023


FundersFunder number
National Science FoundationCNS 1552163, HRD 1810974


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