Cognitive problems commonly add to the disability of the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), but there are no highly effective treatments for cognitive dysfunction in PD. To develop such treatments, researchers need reliable, objective measurements of PD cognition. Brainwave activity is an important measurement of cerebral cortex involvement in memory and other cognitive function, and previous study has revealed that measuring brainwave activity from the scalp may provide an easy and reliable way to objectively measure cognitive ability in PD.
In this project, researchers will study brainwave activity in more than 100 people with PD using electroencephalography (EEG) and will assess the network relationships between different brain locations with advanced mathematical techniques. They will correlate various measurements of such activity to memory loss, other cognitive dysfunction and a variety of chemical changes observed in autopsied brain. The researchers will also assess the ability to measure changes in cognition over time.
Relevance to Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
This study will determine which measurements of network brainwave activity are the most reliable for use in testing treatments for cognitive problems in PD, making such testing easier and more reliable.
This study will define the best type of brain activity measurements for testing cognitive treatments, and researchers believe those measurements will correlate with certain brain chemical measurements that are believed to play an important part in the cause of cognitive problems in PD.