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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages 15-26

Event-Related Potentials in Parkinson’s Disease: A Review

E. Růžička1,2 and F. El Massioui1

1Unite de Recherche en Psychophysiologie Cognitive, Pathologie Psychiatrique et Neurologique, CNRS URA 654-LENA, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, 47, Bd de l'Hôpital, 75651, Paris Cedex 13, France
2Clinic of Neurology, Charles University, Katefinsk8. 30, 120 00 Praha 2, Czech Republic

Received 22 March 1993; Accepted 3 April 1993

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This article reviews the findings of event-related potentials (ERP) in Parkinson's disease (PD) published during the last 10 years. Basic principles and methods of ERP are briefly presented with particular regard to the auditory “odd-ball” paradigm almost uniquely employed for the ERP assessment in PD to date. The results of respective studies are overviewed and discussed with respect to three main axes: (1) The slowing down of cognitive processing in PD is reflected by the delays of N2 and P3 components of ERP which are more important in demented than in non-demented patients. The Nl component is delayed in demented patients with PD as well as in other dementias of presumed subcortical origin. (2) Various neuropsychological deficits observed in PD correlate with the delays of ERP evoking the implication of common subcortico-cortical cerebral mechanisms. (3) The variations of ERP under dopaminergic manipulation suggest conflicting effects of levodopa treatment on cognition, at least in certain categories of PD patients. These findings are discussed in the light of current knowledge on neurotransmitter brain systems and some hypothetic explanations are proposed. Finally, an attempt is made to outline further perspectives of clinical and research utilization of ERP in Parkinson's disease.