Midsagittal corpus callosal thickness and cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease

Eur J Neurosci. 2022 Apr;55(7):1859-1872. doi: 10.1111/ejn.15640. Epub 2022 Mar 22.


People diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD) can experience significant neuropsychiatric symptoms, including cognitive impairment and dementia, the neuroanatomical substrates of which are not fully characterised. Symptoms associated with cognitive impairment and dementia in PD may relate to direct structural changes to the corpus callosum via primary white matter pathology or as a secondary outcome due to the degeneration of cortical regions. Using magnetic resonance imaging, the corpus callosum can be investigated at the midsagittal plane, where it converges to a contiguous mass and is not intertwined with other tracts. The objective of this project was thus twofold: First, we investigated possible changes in the thickness of the midsagittal callosum and cortex in patients with PD with varying levels of cognitive impairment; and secondly, we investigated the relationship between the thickness of the midsagittal corpus callosum and the thickness of the cortex. Study participants included cognitively unimpaired PD participants (n = 35), PD participants with mild cognitive impairment (n = 22), PD participants with dementia (n = 17) and healthy controls (n = 27). We found thinning of the callosum in PD-related dementia compared with PD-related mild cognitive impairment and cognitively unimpaired PD participants. Regression analyses found thickness of the left medial orbitofrontal cortex to be positively correlated with thickness of the anterior callosum in PD-related mild cognitive impairment. This study suggests that a midsagittal thickness model can uncover changes to the corpus callosum in PD-related dementia, which occur in line with changes to the cortex in this advanced disease stage.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; corpus callosum; dementia; mild cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / etiology
  • Corpus Callosum / diagnostic imaging
  • Corpus Callosum / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Parkinson Disease* / complications
  • Parkinson Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Parkinson Disease* / pathology