Spinocerebellar ataxia: compensation of gait impairment with increased prefrontal cortex activity

Patients with spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) show signs of increased prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity to compensate for disturbances in gait and balance, new data suggest. Evidence of increased PFC activity was observed even in patients with pre-manifest SCA.

Researchers from centers in the USA used wireless, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to directly measure PFC activity in patients with SCA while walking.