Abnormal oscillatory synchronisation in the motor system leads to impaired movement.
Converging data suggest that abnormal synchronised oscillatory activity in the basal ganglia may contribute to bradykinesia in patients with Parkinson's disease. This synchrony preferentially occurs over 10-30 Hz, the so-called beta band. Correlative evidence has been supplemented by experiments in which direct stimulation of the basal ganglia in the beta band slows movement. Yet questions remain regarding the small scale of the latter effects and whether synchrony is an early or even obligatory feature of parkinsonism. Nevertheless, the principle that abnormally synchronised activity in the beta band can disrupt the function finds a precedent in the syndrome of cortical myoclonus. Here, pathologically synchronised discharges of pyramidal neurons are transmitted to the healthy spinal cord. The result is the synchronous discharge of motor units leading to rhythmic jerking.