Spatial remapping of cortico-striatal connectivity in Parkinson's disease

Cereb Cortex. 2010 May;20(5):1175-86. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhp178. Epub 2009 Aug 26.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by striatal dopamine depletion, especially in the posterior putamen. The dense connectivity profile of the striatum suggests that these local impairments may propagate throughout the whole cortico-striatal network. Here we test the effect of striatal dopamine depletion on cortico-striatal network properties by comparing the functional connectivity profile of the posterior putamen, the anterior putamen, and the caudate nucleus between 41 PD patients and 36 matched controls. We used multiple regression analyses of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data to quantify functional connectivity across different networks. Each region had a distinct connectivity profile that was similarly expressed in patients and controls: the posterior putamen was uniquely coupled to cortical motor areas, the anterior putamen to the pre-supplementary motor area and anterior cingulate cortex, and the caudate nucleus to the dorsal prefrontal cortex. Differences between groups were specific to the putamen: although PD patients showed decreased coupling between the posterior putamen and the inferior parietal cortex, this region showed increased functional connectivity with the anterior putamen. We conclude that dopamine depletion in PD leads to a remapping of cerebral connectivity that reduces the spatial segregation between different cortico-striatal loops. These alterations of network properties may underlie abnormal sensorimotor integration in PD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Corpus Striatum / blood supply
  • Corpus Striatum / pathology*
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Pathways / blood supply
  • Neural Pathways / pathology
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Regression Analysis


  • Oxygen