Cortical beta burst dynamics are altered in Parkinson's disease but normalized by deep brain stimulation

K.  Amande M Pauls*, Olesia Korsun, Jukka Nenonen, Jussi Nurminen, Mia Liljeström, Jan Kujala, Eero Pekkonen, Hanna Renvall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Exaggerated subthalamic beta oscillatory activity and increased beta range cortico-subthalamic synchrony have crystallized as the electrophysiological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease. Beta oscillatory activity is not tonic but occurs in ‘bursts’ of transient amplitude increases. In Parkinson's disease, the characteristics of these bursts are altered especially in the basal ganglia. However, beta oscillatory dynamics at the cortical level and how they compare with healthy brain activity is less well studied. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to study sensorimotor cortical beta bursting and its modulation by subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease patients and age-matched healthy controls. We show that the changes in beta bursting amplitude and duration typical of Parkinson's disease can also be observed in the sensorimotor cortex, and that they are modulated by chronic subthalamic deep brain stimulation, which, in turn, is reflected in improved motor function at the behavioural level. In addition to the changes in individual beta bursts, their timing relative to each other was altered in patients compared to controls: bursts were more clustered in untreated Parkinson's disease, occurring in ‘bursts of bursts’, and re-burst probability was higher for longer compared to shorter bursts. During active deep brain stimulation, the beta bursting in patients resembled healthy controls’ data. In summary, both individual bursts’ characteristics and burst patterning are affected in Parkinson's disease, and subthalamic deep brain stimulation normalizes some of these changes to resemble healthy controls’ beta bursting activity, suggesting a non-invasive biomarker for patient and treatment follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119308
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Beta burst
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Oscillatory activity
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Resting state


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