A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Cardiff has found that teaching Parkinson’s patients to regulate their brain activity can help to improve symptoms of the disorder.
A small sample of 5 patients, diagnosed with Parkinsons disease was shown their own brain activity through a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner while completing a finger-tapping task.
The neuro-feedback training taught participants how to increase activity in particular areas of the brain that were responsible for movement. It was reported that the training lead to an overall improvement to motor control in the finger tapping task. The researchers suggested that the results of the study warranted further investigation to the extent of the improvements that could be achieved in motor control by using neuro-feedback methods.
This research also has implications for the treatment Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Parkinson’s disease and ADHD have chemical similarities; both are marked by reduced levels of dopamine a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays a major role in concentration, attention, learning and movement.