Metabolic network abnormalities in drug-naïve Parkinson's Disease

Katharina A. Schindlbeck, Olaia Lucas-Jiménez, Chris C. Tang, Silvia Morbelli, Dario Arnaldi, Matteo Pardini, Marco Pagani, Naroa Ibarretxe-Bilbao, Natalia Ojeda, Flavio Nobili, David Eidelberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: An ideal imaging biomarker for a neurodegenerative disorder should be able to measure abnormalities in the earliest stages of the disease. Objective: We investigated metabolic network changes in two independent cohorts of drug-naïve Parkinson's disease (PD) patients who have not been exposed to dopaminergic medication. Methods: We scanned 85 de novo, drug-naïve PD patients and 85 age-matched healthy control subjects from Italy (n = 96) and the United States (n = 74) with [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose PET. All patients had clinical follow-ups to verify the diagnosis of idiopathic PD. Spatial covariance analysis was used to identify and validate de novo PD-related metabolic patterns in the Italian and U.S. cohorts. We compared the de novo PD-related metabolic patterns to the original PD-related pattern that was identified in more advanced patients who had been on chronic dopaminergic treatment. Results: De novo PD-related metabolic patterns were identified in each of the two independent cohorts of drug-naïve PD patients, and each differentiated PD patients from healthy control subjects. Expression values for these disease patterns were elevated in drug-naïve PD patients relative to healthy controls in the identification as well as in each of the validation subgroups. The two de novo PD-related metabolic patterns were topographically very similar to each other and to the original PD-related pattern. Conclusions: Reproducible PD-related patterns are expressed in de novo, drug-naïve PD patients. In PD, disease-related metabolic patterns have stereotyped topographies that develop independently of chronic levodopa treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMovement Disorders
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • drug naïve
  • imaging biomarker
  • network analysis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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