Metabolic brain networks in neurodegenerative disorders: a functional imaging approach

Trends Neurosci. 2009 Oct;32(10):548-57. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2009.06.003. Epub 2009 Sep 16.


Network analysis of functional brain imaging data is an innovative approach to study circuit abnormalities in neurodegenerative diseases. In Parkinson's disease, spatial covariance analysis of resting-state metabolic images has identified specific regional patterns associated with motor and cognitive symptoms. With functional imaging, these metabolic networks have recently been used to measure system-related progression and to evaluate novel treatment strategies. Network analysis is also being used to characterize specific functional biomarkers for Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's disease. These networks have been particularly helpful in uncovering compensatory mechanisms in genetically at-risk individuals. Ongoing developments in network applications are likely to enhance the role of functional imaging in the investigation of neurodegenerative disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Huntington Disease / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Neural Pathways / drug effects
  • Neural Pathways / metabolism*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*