Functional near-infrared spectroscopy measures of frontal hemodynamic responses in Parkinson's patients and controls performing the Timed-Up-and-Go test

Ping Tao, Xuerong Shao, Yuchen Dong, Roger Adams, Elisabeth Preston, Jun Ying Liu, Jia Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), hemodynamic responses (i.e., changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin) were measured while participants with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and healthy controls performed the Timed-Up-and-Go test (TUGT), and differences in cortical activity at baseline and three different intervals were examined between the two groups. Seventeen PD patients and twenty-two controls participated in the study, but two PD patients were excluded from statistical analysis due to the presence of freezing of gait and using walking aids during the TUGT. During the TUGT, activity in the front, left, right and total frontal cortices initially decreased significantly, then significantly increased in PD participants and low-risk faller PD participants, compared to when in a sitting position. ΔHbO (HbO change from baseline) over the front, left and total frontal cortices in the PD group was significantly lower than the control group in interval 1 (P = 0.019, P = 0.014 and P = 0.031, respectively), while significantly higher than the control group in interval 2 over the left frontal cortex (P = 0.010). No significant differences were observed between the high-risk faller and low-risk faller subgroups of PD participants in ΔHbO and ΔHbR in the three intervals (P > 0.05). In the high-risk faller subgroup, ΔHbO over the left frontal cortex was significantly higher than the right frontal cortex in interval 2 and interval 3 (P = 0.015, P = 0.030, respectively). There was a strong positive correlation between education and HbR concentration over the right frontal cortex in PD participants (rho = 0.557, P = 0.031), while there were strong negative correlations between PD duration and HbR concentration over the right and total frontal cortices in the high-risk faller subgroup of PD participants (rho = −0.854, P = 0.014 for the right; rho = −0.784, P = 0.037 for the total). The falls prediction cutoff TUGT time for PD participants was 14.2 s. These results suggest that frontal cognition training, along with exercise training, could be used as an effective training method to improve motor performance in PD patients, especially for those at high-risk for falls.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Cite this