Dynamic functional connectivity changes associated with dementia in Parkinson's disease

Eleonora Fiorenzato, Antonio P Strafella, Jinhee Kim, Roberta Schifano, Luca Weis, Angelo Antonini, Roberta Biundo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dynamic functional connectivity captures temporal variations of functional connectivity during MRI acquisition and it may be a suitable method to detect cognitive changes in Parkinson's disease. In this study, we evaluated 118 patients with Parkinson's disease matched for age, sex and education with 35 healthy control subjects. Patients with Parkinson's disease were classified with normal cognition (n = 52), mild cognitive impairment (n = 46), and dementia (n = 20) based on an extensive neuropsychological evaluation. Resting state functional MRI and a sliding-window approach were used to study the dynamic functional connectivity. Dynamic analysis suggested two distinct connectivity 'States' across the entire group: a more frequent, segregated brain state characterized by the predominance of within-network connections, State I, and a less frequent, integrated state with strongly connected functional internetwork components, State II. In Parkinson's disease, State I occurred 13.89% more often than in healthy control subjects, paralleled by a proportional reduction of State II. Parkinson's disease subgroups analyses showed the segregated state occurred more frequently in Parkinson's disease dementia than in mild cognitive impairment and normal cognition groups. Further, patients with Parkinson's disease dementia dwelled significantly longer in the segregated State I, and showed a significant lower number of transitions to the strongly interconnected State II compared to the other subgroups. Our study indicates that dementia in Parkinson's disease is characterized by altered temporal properties in dynamic connectivity. In addition, our results show that increased dwell time in the segregated state and reduced number of transitions between states are associated with presence of dementia in Parkinson's disease. Further studies on dynamic functional connectivity changes could help to better understand the progressive dysfunction of networks between Parkinson's disease cognitive states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2860-2872
Number of pages13
JournalBrain : a journal of neurology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2019


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