Elevated Gaussian Modeled Beta Power in the Cortex Characterizes Aging, but not Parkinson's Disease

Apoorva Karekal, Samuel Stuart, Martina Mancini*, Nicole C. Swann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aging is a key risk factor for the development of Parkinson's Disease (PD). PD is characterized by excessive synchrony of beta oscillations (13-30 Hz) in the basal ganglia thalamo-cortical network. However, cortical beta power is not reliably elevated in individuals with PD. Here, we sought to disentangle how resting cortical beta power compares in younger controls, older controls, and individuals with PD using scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) and a novel approach for quantifying beta power. Specifically, we used a Gaussian model to determine if sensorimotor beta power distinguishes these groups. Additionally, we looked at the distribution of beta power across the entire cortex. Our findings showed that Gaussian modeled beta power does not differentiate individuals with PD (on medication) from healthy younger or older controls in sensorimotor cortex. However, beta power (and not theta or alpha) was higher in healthy older versus younger controls. This effect was most pronounced in regions near sensorimotor cortex including the frontal and parietal areas (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1086-1093
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number5
Early online date5 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023

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