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WCN 2021 | The primary motor cortex involvement in motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease

Matteo Bologna, MD, PhD, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy, discusses the primary motor cortex involvement in the pathophysiology of motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease. Traditionally, the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are considered to reflect dopaminergic denervation of the basal ganglia. However, novel studies indicate that other brain areas also play a relevant role in the pathophysiology of movement abnormalities, particularly the primary motor cortex. Recent studies carried out by Dr Bologna found a correlation between movement abnormalities and neurophysiological abnormalities of the primary motor cortex in Parkinson’s disease. But, perhaps, the most interesting finding is when bradykinesia was objectively analyzed, different neurophysiological abnormalities were shown to possibly underlie different movement abnormalities. Dr Bologna highlights how understanding the pathophysiological role of the primary motor cortex in Parkinson’s disease could lead to the more appropriate use of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques for therapeutic purposes. This interview took place during the XXV World Congress of Neurology.