Inefficient resource allocation is associated with reduced alpha activity in parietal regions in individuals with Parkinson’s disease

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Abstract The brain’s ability to act as an input filter and to suppress actions is crucial to navigate everyday life and impairments in these abilities affect quality of life substantially. Although Parkinson’s disease (PD) is primarily known as a movement disorder, recent research has redefined it as a multisystem disorder affecting cognition, in particular inhibitory control and attentional resource allocation. Analysing the neural mechanisms underlying this cognitive deficit provides a better understanding of brain changes observed in patients affected by PD. Therefore, the present study aimed to identify resource allocation to relevant and irrelevant stimuli in patients affected by PD. Besides neuropsychological tests, we employed electroencephalographic recordings during an auditory-oddball paradigm in 13 patients suffering from idiopathic PD and 11 healthy controls (HC). Participants were instructed to ignore the standard stimulus and to respond as fast as possible to the rarely presented target tone. Event-related potentials (ERP) and time-frequency representations (TFR) were analysed. Patients affected by PD showed faster response latencies to the task-irrelevant standard tones, but slower response latencies to target tones compared to HC. This observation was prominent at frontal sites during later P3-like processing stages. Reaction time, however, was prolonged in patients with PD, suggesting inefficient resource allocation. Additionally, TFR revealed reduced parietal alpha activity, which is associated with distractor suppression and functional inhibition in patients with PD compared to healthy controls. Thus, our results point towards inefficient resource allocation in patients with PD possibly driven by less functional inhibition through parietal alpha activity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Number of pages13
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14.10.2020

ID: 5474809

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