Abstract

Patients with Parkinson disease (PD) often experience nonmotor symptoms including cognitive deficits, depression, and anxiety. Cognitive and affective processes are thought to be mediated by prefrontal cortico-basal ganglia circuitry. However, the topography and neurophysiology of prefrontal cortical activity during complex tasks are not well characterized. We used high-resolution electrocorticography in pFC of patients with PD and essential tremor, during implantation of deep brain stimulator leads in the awake state, to understand disease-specific changes in prefrontal activity during an emotional face processing task. We found that patients with PD had less task-related theta–alpha power and greater task-related gamma power in the dorsolateral pFC, inferior frontal cortex, and lateral OFC. These findings support a model of prefrontal neurophysiological changes in the dopamine-depleted state, in which focal areas of hyperactivity in prefrontal cortical regions may compensate for impaired long-range interactions mediated by low-frequency rhythms. These distinct neurophysiological changes suggest that nonmotor circuits undergo characteristic changes in PD.

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