Researchers report that the neurofeedback system enables individuals with Parkinson’s to control their own symptom-related brainwaves by their own will.
According to a new study published in the eNeuro, the neurofeedback system enables patients with Parkinson’s to control their brainwaves, which are related to the symptoms of the disease, by their own will. Electrophysiological analyses conducted through the use of electrodes for deep brain stimulation (DBS) showed that the beta-band oscillations in the STN are correlated with the symptoms of the Parkinson’s disease. While treatments with dopaminergic drugs (L-DOPA) weaken the beta-band’s strength, they also cure Parkinson’s symptoms, such as bradykinesia and stiffness. Thus, the beta band oscillation in the STN could be a therapeutic target for clinical interventions, such as rehabilitation. Neurofeedback (NF) has been shown to cause changes in the cortical activities related to various diseases, Parkinson’s disease being the primary one.
The signals from DBS electrodes are received in real-time. The data received are reflected on the patient through a computer (eNeuro 2018).
Upper extremity electromyograms (EMG) were evaluated in order to analyze the correlation between the STN and beta-band oscillation. Each patient participated in 3 sessions consisting of pre-NF session, NF session and post-NF session. During the 10-minute feedback session, the patients were instructed to make the black circle on the computer screen smaller by using their thoughts and not their bodies. The hand and arm activities of the patients were monitored, using EMG. The results showed that neurofeedback had significant effect on the STN beta waves, which were measured after the session.
The neurofeedback training can be an effective method to reveal the pathophysiological role of abnormal oscillations and to develop a new treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, this study provides us with a new approach in the regulation of the brainwaves related to any disease.
Fukuma et al., eNeuro (2018).“Real-time neurofeedback to modulate β-band power in the subthalamic nucleus in Parkinson’s disease patients” by Ryohei Fukuma, Takufumi Yanagisawa, Masataka Tanaka, Fumiaki Yoshida, Koichi Hosomi, Satoru Oshino, Naoki Tani and Haruhiko Kishima in eNeuro.
Image: NeuroscienceNews.com, eNeuro (2018).