Contribution of insula in Parkinson's disease: A quantitative meta-analysis study

Hum Brain Mapp. 2016 Apr;37(4):1375-92. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23109. Epub 2016 Jan 22.


The insula region is known to be an integrating hub interacting with multiple brain networks involved in cognitive, affective, sensory, and autonomic processes. There is growing evidence suggesting that this region may have an important role in Parkinson's disease (PD). Thus, to investigate the functional organization of the insular cortex and its potential role in parkinsonian features, we used a coordinate-based quantitative meta-analysis approach, the activation likelihood estimation. A total of 132 insular foci were selected from 96 published experiments comprising the five functional categories: cognition, affective/behavioral symptoms, bodily awareness/autonomic function, sensorimotor function, and nonspecific resting functional changes associated with the disease. We found a significant convergence of activation maxima related to PD in different insular regions including anterior and posterior regions bilaterally. This study provides evidence of an important functional distribution of different domains within the insular cortex in PD, particularly in relation to nonmotor aspects, with an influence of medication effect.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; behavior; cognition; dopamine; insula; nonmotor symptoms.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nerve Net / diagnostic imaging
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography