Phase-Amplitude Coupling in Parkinson’s Disease

by | Jun 7, 2024 | Neuroscience, Paper, Psychology

Deep brain stimulation is a neurosurgical treatment for Parkinson’s disease to alleviate motor symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, and akinesia. In an attempt to improve this therapy, research suggests using measures of phase-amplitude coupling (a form of synchronization between different neural oscillations) as a control signal for deep brain stimulation therapy. The aim of this paper is to compare two studies with regard to the purported role of phase-amplitude coupling in Parkinson’s disease and deep brain stimulation therapy. The paper provides a brief introduction to Parkinson’s disease and cross-frequency coupling, in particular phase-amplitude coupling. It then analyzes the two studies mentioned above in terms of their methodolgy and results. It concludes with a short summary and further research questions.

Good to know:

Ideally, you are familiar with the basics of neuronal activity, especially the synchronization of neuronal population spiking. For example, you know that there are different frequency bands and different forms of cross-frequency coupling between neural oscillations. For an overview, see this paper on Neural Cross-Frequency Coupling.


Neuropsychology (during Exchange Semester at Bishop’s University), 2022, Dr. Jasmeen Sidhu

Spoiler Alert
The two analyzed studies found that, despite different methodologies and subjects, phase-amplitude coupling is increased in advanced stages of the disease. However, variability in the findings during different activities (motor tasks vs. sleep) and different stages of the disease suggests that the underlying mechanisms leading to increased phase-amplitude coupling in Parkinson’s disease are not yet fully understood. Consequently, employing phase-amplitude coupling as a control signal in adaptive deep brain stimulation therapy might be considered premature.
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Sarah Schelper
Parkinson’s Disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases affecting many people. I am personally interested in this topic because a close relative of mine suffered from this disease for many years. The various forms of treatment only target the symptoms. I think it’s crucial and fascinating to understand the mechanisms of the disease in order to find a cure for it one day.

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