Many studies suggest that Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with changes in neuronal activity patterns throughout the basal ganglia-thalamocortical motor circuit. There are limited electrophysiological data, however, describing how parkinsonism impacts the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) and SMA proper (SMAp), cortical areas known to be involved in movement planning and motor control. In this study, local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded in the pre-SMA/SMAp of a non-human primate during a visually cued reaching task. Recordings were made in the same subject in both the naive and parkinsonian state using the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model of parkinsonism. We found that in the naive animal, well before a go cue providing instruction of reach onset and direction was given, LFP activity was dynamically modulated in both high (20-30 Hz) and low-beta (10-20 Hz) bands, and the magnitude of this modulation correlated linearly with reaction time (RT) on a trial-to-trial basis, suggesting it may predictively encode for RT. Consistent with this hypothesis, we observed that this activity was more prominent within the pre-SMA compared to SMAp. In the parkinsonian state, however, pre-SMA/SMAp beta band modulation was disrupted, particularly in the high-beta band, such that the predictive encoding of RT was significantly diminished. In addition, the predictive encoding of RT preferentially within pre-SMA over SMAp was lost. These findings add to our understanding of the role of pre-SMA/SMAp in motor behavior and suggest a fundamental role of these cortical areas in early preparatory and pre-movement processes that are altered in parkinsonism.
Journal of Neurophysiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: May 7, 2018
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