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Front Syst Neurosci. 2012 Jul 4;6:52. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2012.00052. eCollection 2012.

L-DOPA changes spontaneous low-frequency BOLD signal oscillations in Parkinson's disease: a resting state fMRI study.

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  • 1Neuroscience Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI, USA.


Analysis of the amplitude of low frequency BOLD signal fluctuations (ALFF) in the resting state has recently been used to study the dynamics of intrinsic neural activity. Several studies have also suggested its potential as a biomarker for neuropsychiatric disease. In the current study, we quantified ALFF to determine changes in intrinsic neural oscillations in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) on and off L-DOPA. Twenty-four PD patients and 24 healthy age-matched controls participated in the study. PD patients underwent two resting state fMRI sessions, either ON a controlled dose of L-DOPA or following a placebo pill (OFF). Control participants underwent one test session. We found that there was increased amplitude of low frequency BOLD signal oscillations for PD patients OFF L-DOPA in the primary and secondary motor areas, and in the middle and medial prefrontal cortices. L-DOPA significantly reduced the amplitude of low frequency oscillations within these regions. The degree of ALFF in the premotor cortex predicted patients' motor performance as measured by the Grooved Pegboard task, such that greater ALFF was associated with poorer performance. These results are in line with the pathophysiology of PD, which shows changes in neural oscillations. Thus, frequency domain analyses of resting state BOLD fMRI signals may provide a useful means to study the pathophysiology of PD and the physiology of the brain's dopaminergic pathways.


BOLD signal; Parkinson's disease; dopamine; neural oscillation; resting-state fMRI

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