Abnormal metabolic brain networks in Parkinson's disease from blackboard to bedside

Prog Brain Res. 2010;184:161-76. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(10)84008-7.


Metabolic imaging in the rest state has provided valuable information concerning the abnormalities of regional brain function that underlie idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). Moreover, network modeling procedures, such as spatial covariance analysis, have further allowed for the quantification of these changes at the systems level. In recent years, we have utilized this strategy to identify and validate three discrete metabolic networks in PD associated with the motor and cognitive manifestations of the disease. In this chapter, we will review and compare the specific functional topographies underlying parkinsonian akinesia/rigidity, tremor, and cognitive disturbance. While network activity progressed over time, the rate of change for each pattern was distinctive and paralleled the development of the corresponding clinical symptoms in early-stage patients. This approach is already showing great promise in identifying individuals with prodromal manifestations of PD and in assessing the rate of progression before clinical onset. Network modulation was found to correlate with the clinical effects of dopaminergic treatment and surgical interventions, such as subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) and gene therapy. Abnormal metabolic networks have also been identified for atypical parkinsonian syndromes, such as multiple system atrophy (MSA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Using multiple disease-related networks for PD, MSA, and PSP, we have developed a novel, fully automated algorithm for accurate classification at the single-patient level, even at early disease stages.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Dopamine Agents / pharmacology
  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Movement / physiology
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy


  • Dopamine Agents