Frontal theta and beta oscillations during lower-limb movement in Parkinson's disease

Arun Singh, Rachel C. Cole, Arturo I. Espinoza, Darin Brown, James F. Cavanagh, Nandakumar S. Narayanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Objectives: Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) have deficits in lower-limb functions such as gait, which involves both cognitive and motor dysfunction. In PD, theta and beta brain rhythms are associated with cognitive and motor functions, respectively. We tested the hypothesis that PD patients with lower-limb abnormalities would exhibit abnormal theta and beta rhythms in the mid-frontal cortical region during lower-limb action. Methods: This study included thirty-nine participants; 13 PD patients with FOG (PDFOG+), 13 without FOG (PDFOG-), and 13 demographically-matched controls. We recorded scalp electroencephalograms (EEG) during a lower-limb pedaling motor task, which required intentional initiation and stopping of a motor movement. Results: FOG scores were correlated with disease severity and cognition. PDFOG+ patients pedaled with reduced speed and decreased acceleration compared to PDFOG− patients and controls. PDFOG+ patients exhibited attenuated theta-band (4–8 Hz) power and increased beta-band (13–30 Hz) power at mid-frontal electrode Cz during pedaling. Frontal theta- and beta-band oscillations also correlated with motor and cognitive deficits. Conclusion: Frontal theta and beta oscillations are predictors of lower-limb motor symptoms in PD and could be used to design neuromodulation for PD-related lower-limb abnormalities. Significance: These data provide insight into mechanisms of lower-limb dysfunction in PD with FOG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-702
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology


  • Freezing of gait
  • Frontal region
  • Lower-limb movement
  • Oscillations
  • Parkinson's disease


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