Shenghong He 1 , 2 , Abteen Mostofi 3 , Emilie Syed 1 , Flavie Torrecillos 1 , 2 , Gerd Tinkhauser 1 , 4 , Petra Fischer 1 , 2 , Alek Pogosyan 1 , 2 , Harutomo Hasegawa 5 , Yuanqing Li 6 , Keyoumars Ashkan 5 , Erlick Pereira 3 , Peter Brown , 1 , 2 , Huiling Tan , 1 , 2
18 November 2020
Previous studies have explored neurofeedback training for Parkinsonian patients to suppress beta oscillations in the subthalamic nucleus (STN). However, its impacts on movements and Parkinsonian tremor are unclear. We developed a neurofeedback paradigm targeting STN beta bursts and investigated whether neurofeedback training could improve motor initiation in Parkinson’s disease compared to passive observation. Our task additionally allowed us to test which endogenous changes in oscillatory STN activities are associated with trial-to-trial motor performance. Neurofeedback training reduced beta synchrony and increased gamma activity within the STN, and reduced beta band coupling between the STN and motor cortex. These changes were accompanied by reduced reaction times in subsequently cued movements. However, in Parkinsonian patients with pre-existing symptoms of tremor, successful volitional beta suppression was associated with an amplification of tremor which correlated with theta band activity in STN local field potentials, suggesting an additional cross-frequency interaction between STN beta and theta activities.