News Release 

Noninvasive electrophysiological biomarker for Parkinson's disease

With additional validation, approach could be developed into wearable technology for patients to monitor disease-related brain activity at home

Society for Neuroscience

Novel measures of brain activity associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) can be detected with scalp electrodes, according to a new analysis published in eNeuro. Such a marker of PD -- detected using a noninvasive, affordable approach -- could improve management of the disease by doctors and patients, particularly in rural areas.

Measuring PD-related brain activity using these novel methods had previously only been demonstrated in patients who have had electrodes surgically implanted deep in their brain. Nicole Swann and colleagues at the University of Oregon and the University of California, San Diego report that similar information can be obtained by recording electrical activity from the surface of the head with electroencephalography (EEG). By analyzing previously published EEG data from PD patients and healthy individuals, the researchers were able to distinguish between the two groups and within the PD group when patients were on or off their medication.

These results suggest the shape of beta oscillations is abnormal in PD and may be a promising electrophysiological indicator of disease state. Recording this signal with EEG is straightforward and, after additional validation, could potentially be developed into wearable technology for patients to monitor disease-related brain activity even in patient's own homes.

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Manuscript title: Characteristics of Waveform Shape in Parkinson's Disease Detected with Scalp Electroencephalography*

*A preprint of this manuscript has been posted on bioRxiv

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About eNeuro

eNeuro, the Society for Neuroscience's open-access journal launched in 2014, publishes rigorous neuroscience research with double-blind peer review that masks the identity of both the authors and reviewers, minimizing the potential for implicit biases. eNeuro is distinguished by a broader scope and balanced perspective achieved by publishing negative results, failure to replicate or replication studies. New research, computational neuroscience, theories and methods are also published.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

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