Connectivity of EEG synchronization networks increases for Parkinson’s disease patients with freezing of gait

Eitan E. Asher, Meir Plotnik, Moritz Günther, Shlomo Havlin, Jan W. Kantelhardt, Ronny P. Bartsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Freezing of gait (FoG), a paroxysmal gait disturbance commonly experienced by patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), is characterized by sudden episodes of inability to generate effective forward stepping. Recent studies have shown an increase in beta frequency of local-field potentials in the basal-ganglia during FoG, however, comprehensive research on the synchronization between different brain locations and frequency bands in PD patients is scarce. Here, by developing tools based on network science and non-linear dynamics, we analyze synchronization networks of electroencephalography (EEG) brain waves of three PD patient groups with different FoG severity. We find higher EEG amplitude synchronization (stronger network links) between different brain locations as PD and FoG severity increase. These results are consistent across frequency bands (theta, alpha, beta, gamma) and independent of the specific motor task (walking, still standing, hand tapping) suggesting that an increase in severity of PD and FoG is associated with stronger EEG networks over a broad range of brain frequencies. This observation of a direct relationship of PD/FoG severity with overall EEG synchronization together with our proposed EEG synchronization network approach may be used for evaluating FoG propensity and help to gain further insight into PD and the pathophysiology leading to FoG.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1017
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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