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J Neurol. 2016 Aug;263(8):1583-92. doi: 10.1007/s00415-016-8174-4. Epub 2016 May 26.

Alterations of functional and structural connectivity of freezing of gait in Parkinson's disease.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, No. 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, 210029, China.
2
Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, No. 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, 210029, China.
3
Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, No. 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, 210029, China. jiewang127@126.com.

Abstract

This study assessed the patterns of functional and structural connectivity abnormalities in patients with Parkinson's disease with freezing of gait (PD FOG+) compared with those without freezing (PD FOG-) and healthy controls (HCs). Resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans were obtained from 14 PD FOG+, 16 PD FOG- and 16HCs. Between-group difference in pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) functional connectivity (FC) was performed to assess FC dysfunction. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was applied to compare white matter (WM) impairment across the whole brain between groups. PD FOG+ patients exhibited abnormal PPN FC, compared with HCs and with PD FOG-, mainly in the corticopontine-cerebellar pathways (in the bilateral cerebellum and in the pons), as well as the visual temporal areas (in the right middle temporal gyrus and in the right inferior temporal gyrus). Moreover, PD FOG+ patients, showed more pronounced WM abnormalities, relative to controls, including the interhemispheric connections of corpus callosum, the cortico-cortical WM tracts of the cingulum, the superior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, the corticofugal tract (cerebral peduncles, internal capsule, corona radiata), as well as tracts connecting the thalamus (thalamic radiation). This study suggests that FOG in PD is associated with abnormal PPN FC network, mainly affecting the corticopontine-cerebellar pathways as well as visual temporal areas involved in visual processing, and with diffuse WM deficits extending to motor, sensory and cognitive regions. Combining rs-fMRI and DTI method, our study should advance the understanding of neural mechanisms underlying FOG in PD.

KEYWORDS:

Diffusion tensor imaging; Freezing of gait; Parkinson’s disease; Pedunculopontine nucleus; Resting-state connectivity

PMID:
27230857
DOI:
10.1007/s00415-016-8174-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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