Mapping brain structural differences and neuroreceptor correlates in Parkinson's disease visual hallucinations

Nat Commun. 2022 Jan 26;13(1):519. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28087-0.


Parkinson's psychosis (PDP) describes a spectrum of symptoms that may arise in Parkinson's disease (PD) including visual hallucinations (VH). Imaging studies investigating the neural correlates of PDP have been inconsistent in their findings, due to differences in study design and limitations of scale. Here we use empirical Bayes harmonisation to pool together structural imaging data from multiple research groups into a large-scale mega-analysis, allowing us to identify cortical regions and networks involved in VH and their relation to receptor binding. Differences of morphometrics analysed show a wider cortical involvement underlying VH than previously recognised, including primary visual cortex and surrounding regions, and the hippocampus, independent of its role in cognitive decline. Structural covariance analyses point to the involvement of the attentional control networks in PD-VH, while associations with receptor density maps suggest neurotransmitter loss may be linked to the cortical changes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Female
  • Hallucinations*
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells*