Measuring impulsivity in people with Parkinson's Disease

Ally is a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, studying how the ability to control our urges and impulses is affected in Parkinson’s disease. Impulse control is the ability to withhold or cancel inappropriate behaviours and is heavily influenced by levels of dopamine in the brain. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease have an increased risk of developing impulse control disorders, such as binge eating, gambling or shopping addictions. These behaviours present severe consequences for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and their families, yet there is currently no reliable way to identify patients who are at risk of developing an impulse control disorder.

Therefore, the purpose of our study is to examine measures at the level of the muscle and motor cortex which may be related to impaired inhibitory control. This line of research is working towards providing doctors with a tool that indicates individuals with a higher risk of developing impulse control disorders.

In this video, we will demonstrate the use of brain stimulation and muscle activity recordings to examine inhibitory control in a movement task.”

Funded by the Humane Research Trust:


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