Metabolic correlates of pallidal neuronal activity in Parkinson's disease

David Eidelberg, James R. Moeller, Ken Kazumata, Angelo Antonini, Djordje Sterio, Vijay Dhawan, Phoebe Spetsieris, Ron Alterman, Patrick J. Kelly, Michael Dogali, Enrico Fazzini, Aleksandar Beric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have used [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose and PET to identify specific metabolic covariance patterns associated with Parkinson's disease and related disorders previously. Nonetheless, the physiological correlates of these abnormal patterns are unknown. In this study we used PET to measure resting state glucose metabolism in 42 awake unmedicated Parkinson's disease patients prior to unilateral stereotaxic pallidotomy for relief of symptoms. Spontaneous single unit activity of the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi) was recorded intraoperatively in the same patients under identical conditions. The first 24 patients (Group A) were scanned on an intermediate resolution tomograph (full width at half maximum, 8 mm); the subsequent 18 patients (Group B) were scanned on a higher resolution tomograph (full width half maximum, 4.2 mm). We found significant positive correlations between GPi firing rates and thalamic glucose metabolism in both patient groups (Group A: r = 0.41, P <0.05; Group B: r = 0.69, P <0.005). In Group B, pixel-based analysis disclosed a significant focus of physiological-metabolic correlation involving the ventral thalamus and the GPi (statistical parametric map: P <0.05, corrected). Regional covariance analysis demonstrated that internal pallidal neuronal activity correlated significantly (r = 0.65, P <0.005) with the expression of a unique network characterized by covarying pallidothalamic and brainstem metabolic activity. Our findings suggest that the variabililty in pallidal neuronal firing rates in Parkinson's disease patients is associated with individual differences in the metabolic activity of efferent projection systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1315-1324
Number of pages10
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


  • Glucose metabolism
  • Network analysis
  • Pallidotomy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Single-unit recording

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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