Impulsivity is Associated with Increased Metabolism in the Fronto-Insular Network in Parkinson's Disease

Front Behav Neurosci. 2015 Nov 30;9:317. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00317. eCollection 2015.


Various neuroimaging studies demonstrated that the fronto-insular network is implicated in impulsive behavior. We compared glucose metabolism (as a proxy measure of neural activity) among 24 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) who presented with low or high levels of impulsivity based on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11 (BIS) scores. Subjects underwent 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and the voxel-wise group difference of FDG-metabolism was analyzed in Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM8). Subsequently, we performed a partial correlation analysis between the FDG-metabolism and BIS scores, controlling for covariates (i.e., age, sex, severity of disease and levodopa equivalent daily doses). Voxel-wise group comparison revealed higher FDG-metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and right insula in patients with higher impulsivity scores. Moreover, there was a positive correlation between the FDG-metabolism and BIS scores. Our findings provide evidence that high impulsivity is associated with increased FDG-metabolism within the fronto-insular network in PD.

Keywords: FDG-PET; anterior cingulate cortex; impulsive behaviors; insula; orbitofrontal cortex.