Precuneal Thickness and Depression in Parkinson Disease

Stefano Zanigni, Luisa Sambati, Stefania Evangelisti, Claudia Testa, Giovanna Calandra Buonaura, David Neil Manners, Rossana Terlizzi, Roberto Poda, Federico Oppi, Raffaele Lodi, Pietro Cortelli, Caterina Tonon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Depression-related gray matter changes in Parkinson disease (PD) patients have been reported, although studies investigating cortical thickness in early-stage disease are lacking. Objective: We aimed to evaluate cortical changes related to depression in early-stage PD patients with an extensive neuropsychological evaluation. Methods: 17 PD patients and 22 healthy controls underwent a 1.5-T brain MR protocol, and voxel-wise differences in cortical thickness among patients with (n = 6) and without (n = 11) depression and controls were evaluated using FreeSurfer software. Results: Cortical thickness was increased in the precuneus bilaterally in PD patients with depression compared to the other groups (number of vertices >100; p < 0.001, uncorrected) with a direct correlation with the Beck Depression Inventory score (p < 0.001, uncorrected). Conclusion: Precuneal cortical thickening is evident in PD patients with mild-moderate depression even in the early stages of the disease. This finding may reflect the early involvement of this region in the development of PD-related depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
JournalNeurodegenerative Diseases
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Cortical thickness
  • Depression
  • Parkinson disease
  • Precuneus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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