Efficient neural communication between premotor and motor cortical areas is critical for manual motor control. Here, we used high-density electroencephalography to study cortical connectivity in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and age-matched healthy controls while they performed repetitive movements of the right index finger at maximal repetition rate. Multiple source beamformer analysis and dynamic causal modeling were used to assess oscillatory coupling between the lateral premotor cortex (lPM), supplementary motor area (SMA), and primary motor cortex (M1) in the contralateral hemisphere. Elderly healthy controls showed task-related modulation in connections from lPM to SMA and M1, mainly within the γ-band (>30 Hz). Nonmedicated PD patients also showed task-related γ-γ coupling from lPM to M1, but γ coupling from lPM to SMA was absent. Levodopa reinstated physiological γ-γ coupling from lPM to SMA and significantly strengthened coupling in the feedback connection from M1 to lPM expressed as β-β as well as θ-β coupling. Enhancement in cross-frequency θ-β coupling from M1 to lPM was correlated with levodopa-induced improvement in motor function. The results show that PD is associated with an altered neural communication between premotor and motor cortical areas, which can be modulated by dopamine replacement.
Cerebral Cortex, 2014, Vol 24, Issue 11, p. 2873-2883