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Dec 11
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM GER Auditorium
Connecting The Dots: Propofol, Parkinson’s Disease and Brain Rhythms CAMS Distinguished Lecturer
Nancy Kopell Boston University

Rhythms of the nervous system are produced in all cognitive states, and have been shown to be highly associated with a myriad of cognitive tasks. Thus, changes in these rhythms, however they come about, are likely to change the ability to do such tasks. This talk focuses on the beta (12-30 Hz) and alpha (9-11) rhythms, and pathological states due to anesthesia and PD; it is about three related studies, the latter two emerging from the first one. The first concerns an early stage of anesthesia, in which, paradoxically, the subject gets more excited and disoriented. With low propofol, the brain rhythms show an increase in beta oscillations, which in normal awake state is associated with brain functions including motor preparation and higher-order processing.
The second concerns the beta oscillations associated with abnormal motor control in Parkinson’s disease. The relationship between the two phenomena can be seen from the underlying physiology using modeling as well as experiments. Finally, the first story led to looking at higher doses of propofol at which consciousness is lost, and uses experimental data to get new ideas about the physiological basis for the loss of consciousness. Again, the focus on relevant physiology of the rhythms is what led, though modeling, to the new insights. Applications to other states of consciousness, such as coma, may be discussed.

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