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The Relationship Between Inhibitory Control and Freezing of Gait in Parkinson’s Disease

Ece Bayram1, Sarah J. Banks1, Jason Longhurst1, Brent Bluett1

1Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas, NV, USA.

Background and Objective: Neural correlates of freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease (PD-FOG) consist of the locomotor network, including prefrontal cortical areas associated with inhibitory control. Inhibitory control deficits have been presumed to play a role in PD-FOG.

Methods: 19 PD patients (7 PD-FOG and 12 without FOG [PD-nFOG]) and 17 cognitively normal controls were included. Inhibitory control was assessed by D-KEFS Color Word Interference Test. FOG severity while levodopa off was evaluated the FOG assessment score. This score quantifies FOG severity during several FOG triggering situations and different dual-tasking levels. Correlations between inhibitory control and FOG assessment score performance were investigated.

Results: Age, education years and Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores were matched between all groups. PD-FOG and PD-nFOG were matched for disease duration and motor impairment while levodopa off. Inhibitory control performance was similar between the groups. FOG assessment scores were different between the groups; PD-FOG group had the highest, and controls had the lowest scores. There were no significant correlations between inhibitory control and FOG assessment score performance.

Discussion and Conclusions: PD patients did not have inhibitory control deficits although they performed worse during the walking course. Inhibitory control may not be directly associated with FOG. A bigger sample will be acquired to obtain more reliable results.

Acknowledgement: Research reported in this publication was supported by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number 5P20GM109025.