Oscillatory and coherent EEG activity is increasingly recognized as a fundamental hallmark of cortical integrative functions. We aimed to study deviations from the norm of different resting EEG parameters in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. We compared spectral parameters of the resting EEG of PD patients (n=24, median age 67 years) to those of healthy controls (n=34, median age 62 years). On average, the patient group exhibited higher spectral power over the frequency range of 2-100 Hz, and the dominant peak was shifted towards lower frequencies. Maximal differences appeared in the 6-9 Hz theta band in all electrodes. Frontal electrodes contributed most to this difference in the 4-6 Hz theta, 12-18 Hz beta and 30-45 Hz gamma bands. On an individual basis, the combination of six spectral power band parameters discriminated between patient and control groups and 72% of all subjects were classified correctly. Using LORETA source analysis, the generators of this power difference were localized to fronto-insulo-temporal cortical areas in the theta and beta bands, and to interhemispheric frontal (supplementary motor area, SMA) and cingulate areas in the 30-45 Hz gamma band. We calculated spectral coherence between electrode pairs in a frontal, central and parietal region of interest (ROI). In the frontal ROI, coherence was enhanced significantly in the patient group in the theta, high beta and gamma bands. In the parietal ROI, patients showed lower coherence around 10 Hz. We demonstrate a deviation from the norm of different resting EEG parameters in PD patients. This evidence can be integrated in the context of a pathophysiological chain reaction initiated in the substantia nigra and resulting in a cortical aberrant dynamics rooted in enhanced dysrhythmic thalamocortical interactions.

Neuroimage. 2008 Jul 1;41(3):985-97. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.03.032. Epub 2008 Apr 1.

PMID: 18457962