Corticomuscular control of walking in older people and people with Parkinson's disease

Luisa Roeder*, Tjeerd W. Boonstra, Graham K Kerr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Changes in human gait resulting from ageing or neurodegenerative diseases are multifactorial. Here we assess the effects of age and Parkinson's disease (PD) on corticospinal activity recorded during treadmill and overground walking. Electroencephalography (EEG) from 10 electrodes and electromyography (EMG) from bilateral tibialis anterior muscles were acquired from 22 healthy young, 24 healthy older and 20 adults with PD. Event-related power, corticomuscular coherence (CMC) and inter-trial coherence were assessed for EEG from bilateral sensorimotor cortices and EMG during the double-support phase of the gait cycle. CMC and EMG power at low beta frequencies (13-21 Hz) was significantly decreased in older and PD participants compared to young people, but there was no difference between older and PD groups. Older and PD participants spent shorter time in the swing phase than young individuals. These findings indicate age-related changes in the temporal coordination of gait. The decrease in low-beta CMC suggests reduced cortical input to spinal motor neurons in older people during the double-support phase. We also observed multiple changes in electrophysiological measures at low-gamma frequencies during treadmill compared to overground walking, indicating task-dependent differences in corticospinal locomotor control. These findings may be affected by artefacts and should be interpreted with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2980
Number of pages18
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • AGE-RELATED-CHANGES
  • MOTOR UNIT DISCHARGE
  • CORTICO-MUSCULAR COHERENCE
  • TREADMILL WALKING
  • BRAIN ACTIVITY
  • SENSORIMOTOR CORTEX
  • COGNITIVE CONTROL
  • HEALTHY OLDER
  • LEG MUSCLES
  • OSCILLATORY SYNCHRONIZATION

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