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Unraveling connectivity changes due to dopaminergic therapy in chronically treated Parkinson’s disease patients

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Ballarini,  Tommaso
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Villringer,  Arno
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany ;

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Mueller,  Karsten
Methods and Development Unit Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Schroeter,  Matthias L.
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany ;
Consortium for Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration, Ulm, Germany ;

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Ballarini_2018.pdf
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Citation

Ballarini, T., Růžička, F., Bezdicek, O., Růžička, E., Roth, J., Villringer, A., et al. (2018). Unraveling connectivity changes due to dopaminergic therapy in chronically treated Parkinson’s disease patients. Scientific Reports, 8: 14328. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-31988-0.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-50E3-3
Abstract
The effects of dopaminergic therapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD) on the brain functional architecture are still unclear. We investigated this topic in 31 PD patients (disease duration: 11.2 ± (SD) 3.6 years) who underwent clinical and MRI assessments under chronic dopaminergic treatment (duration: 8.3 ± (SD) 4.4 years) and after its withdrawal. Thirty healthy controls were also included. Functional and morphological changes were studied, respectively, with eigenvector centrality mapping and seed-based connectivity, and voxel-based morphometry. Patients off medication, compared to controls, showed increased connectivity in cortical sensorimotor areas extending to the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway and parietal and frontal brain structures. Dopaminergic therapy normalized this increased connectivity. Notably, patients showed decreased interconnectedness in the medicated compared to the unmedicated condition, encompassing putamen, precuneus, supplementary motor and sensorimotor areas bilaterally. Similarly, lower connectivity was found comparing medicated patients to controls, overlapping with the within-group comparison in the putamen. Seed-based analyses revealed that dopaminergic therapy reduced connectivity in motor and default mode networks. Lower connectivity in the putamen correlated with longer disease duration, medication dose, and motor symptom improvement. Notably, atrophy and connectivity changes were topographically dissociated. After chronic treatment, dopaminergic therapy decreases connectivity of key motor and default mode network structures that are abnormally elevated in PD off condition.