High beta activity in the subthalamic nucleus and freezing of gait in Parkinson's disease

Jon B. Toledo, Jon López-Azcárate, David Garcia-Garcia, Jorge Guridi, Miguel Valencia, Julio Artieda, Jose Obeso, Manuel Alegre, Maria Rodriguez-Oroz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Objective: Oscillatory activity in the beta band is increased in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Rigidity and bradykinesia are associated with the low-beta component (13-20. Hz) but the neurophysiological correlate of freezing of gait in PD has not been ascertained. Methods: We evaluated the power and coherence of the low- and high-beta bands in the STN and cortex (EEG) of PD patients with (p-FOG) (n = 14) or without freezing of gait (n-FOG) (n = 8) in whom electrodes for chronic stimulation in the STN had been implanted for treatment with deep brain stimulation. Results: p-FOG patients showed higher power in the high-beta band (F=11.6, p=0.002) that was significantly reduced after l-dopa administration along with suppression of FOG (F=4.6, p=0.042). High-beta cortico-STN coherence was maximal for midline cortical EEG electrodes, whereas the low-beta band was maximal for lateral electrodes (χ2=20.60, p<0.0001). Conclusions: The association between freezing of gait, high-beta STN oscillations and cortico-STN coherence suggests that this oscillatory activity might interfere in the frontal cortex-basal ganglia networks, thereby participating in the pathophysiology of FOG in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Beta activity
  • Freezing of gait
  • Oscillatory activity
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Subthalamic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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