Motor Cortical Plasticity and its Correlation With Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease

SOURCE: eNeurologicalSci. 29 (no pagination), 2022. Article Number: 100422.


AUTHORS: Moriyasu S.; Shimizu T.; Honda M.; Ugawa Y.; Hanajima R.

The relationship between abnormal cortical plasticity and parkinsonian symptoms remains unclear in Parkinson’s disease (PD).

OBJECTIVE(S): We studied the relationship between their symptoms and degree of Long-term potentiation (LTP)-like effects induced by quadripulse magnetic stimulation (QPS) over the primary motor cortex, which has a small inter-individual variability in humans.

METHOD(S): Participants were 16 PD patients (drug-naive or treated with L-DOPA monotherapy) and 13 healthy controls (HC). LTP-like effects by QPS were compared between three conditions (HCPD with or without L-DOPA). In PD, correlation analyses were performed between clinical scores (MDS-UPDRS, MMSE and MoCA-J) and the degree of LTP-like effects induced by QPS.

RESULT(S): In PD, QPS-induced LTP-like effect was reduced and restored by L-DOPA. The degree
of the LTP was negatively correlated with MDS-UPDRS Part I and III scores, but not with MMSE and MoCA-J. In the sub-scores, upper limb bradykinesia and rigidity showed a negative correlation with the LTP-like effect whereas the tremor had no correlation.

CONCLUSION(S): Our results suggest that motor cortical plasticity relate with mechanisms underlying bradykinesia and rigidity in the upper limb muscles. LTP induced by QPS may be used as an objective marker of parkinsonian symptoms.