Published on December 13, 2018 | Updated on January 29, 2019

CORTEX conference by James Kilner

December 10th, 2015

Movement initiation and Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in the world, affecting ~7 million people, with ~130,000 patients in the UK. Parkinson's patients have pronounced movement tremor and are hypokinetic in their movements, they are slower both to initiate their movements and in the time it takes them to make movements. Recently we have proposed a new theoretical account that can explain why Parkinson's disease patients are slower both to initiate their movements and in the time it takes them to make movements. Within this framework, these symptoms would occur if Parkinson's disease patients failed to reduce the weight of the current sensory information. This suggests that Parkinson's disease patients might have a pathology in their ability to correctly estimate the correct weight to give to the current sensory information, always over weighting this information. The aim of the group's research is to test this theory. To test firstly, if sensory attenuation is reduced in Parkinson's disease patients compared to healthy subjects, secondly, to determine how the brain modulates the weight given to the current sensory information, and finally to test new non-invasive interventions that could ameliorate some of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease.