Brain Waves May Predict Cognitive Issues In Parkinson’s
NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – An Indian American researcher, Nandakumar Narayanan from the University of Iowa, has led a study that suggests a few minutes of data recorded from a single electrode placed on top of the head could predict thinking problems, including dementia, in Parkinson’s disease patients.
The findings, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, highlight the potential of electroencephalography, a non-invasive and affordable technology, for diagnosing cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease.
The study involved 100 Parkinson’s disease patients with varying cognitive function levels and 49 demographically similar control participants. The research team discovered that diminished strength of low-frequency brain waves, specifically delta and theta waves, when patients engaged in thinking tasks was strongly linked to cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease.
Narayanan believes that these insights could lead to improved diagnosis and the development of new biomarkers and targeted therapies for the cognitive symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. He also suggests that “cueing” Parkinson’s patients to engage in tasks such as walking, talking, or thinking might enhance their performance and have implications for rehabilitation and therapy.
With around 30 percent of Parkinson’s patients experiencing cognitive symptoms at the beginning of the disease and up to 80 percent encountering cognitive problems at some point, this research provides valuable insights into a previously underappreciated aspect of the condition.