Towards a better understanding of the cortical mechanisms contributing to freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson’s disease: imaging and non-invasive brain stimulation studies
Freezing of gait is one of the most disturbing symptoms in PD, affecting up to 80% of patients with advanced PD. It is defined as a brief, episodic absence, or marked reduction of forward progression of the feet, despite the intention to walk. Freezing of gait profoundly impairs mobility, causes falls, and reduces quality of life. The utility of anti-parkinsonian medications is limited and freezing of gait frequently becomes resistant to dopamine. While the impact of this problem on quality of life is clear, the pathogenesis of freezing of gait is poorly understood.
The purpose of my PhD research is to investigate the motor and the non-motor cortico–basal ganglia circuits that may be involved in the mechanisms underlying freezing of gait in PD. This general goal will be attained using fMRI and functional near infra-red spectroscopy (fNIRS) studies as well as non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, i.e., transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). TMS and tDCS will allow us to explore the pathology and causal mechanism and gain insights into the pathways that may contribute to motor/cognitive deficits and their interactions in PD.
Symposium- ISPGR World Congress (2017), International Society for Posture and Gait Research, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA.
Oral presentation- Brain Storming (2016), Tel-Aviv Sourasky medical center.
Oral presentation- Sagol Retreat (2016), Tel-Aviv University.
Poster- International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS, 2017), Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Poster- Current Advances in Brain Stimulation and Neurofeedback (2016), Tel-Aviv University.
Poster- Israel Society for Neuroscience annual meeting (2016), Eilat, Israel.
Travel Award from Adams Super Center for Brain Studies (2017), Tel-Aviv University.
Best swift poster presentation, Israel Society for Neuroscience (2016), annual meeting.
Dean excellence (2013), Tel-Aviv University.
Research Categories: Brain Disorders, Cognitive neuroscience, Computational neuroscience