Functional brain imaging of cognitive status in Parkinson's disease
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is next to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) the second most common neurodegenerative disease. PD has traditionally been characterised as a motor disorder, but more recent research has revealed that cognitive impairments are frequent. Cognitive impairments in executive functions, attention, and working memory with reliance on dopaminergic transmission, are often described as dominating the cognitive profile in early-phase PD. However, although knowledge about the neuropathology that underlies the cognitive impairments in PD has increased, its features are complex and knowledge remains insufficient. Therefore, the aim of the current thesis was to improve the understanding of how task-evoked brain responses relate to cognitive status in patients with PD, with and without mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and to evaluate the predictive value of PD-MCI in respect of prodromal Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD). This was conducted within the “new Parkinsonism in Umeå” (NYPUM) project, which is a prospective cohort study. Patients with idiopathic PD were included in this thesis, and the patients were examined with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and with a functional MRI (fMRI) working memory protocol. During scanning, patients conducted a verbal two-back task in which they needed to maintain and actively update relevant information, and the primary outcome measure was blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal. This thesis shows that patients with PD-MCI had significantly lower BOLD signal responses than patients without MCI in frontal (anterior cingulate cortex) and striatal (right caudate) regions (Study I). The altered BOLD response in the right caudate was associated with altered presynaptic dopamine binding. The fronto-striatal alterations persisted across time but without any additional change. However, decreased posterior cortical (right fusiform gyrus) BOLD signal responses were observed in patients with PD-MCI relative to patients without MCI across time (Study II). Finally, PD-MCI at baseline examination is highly predictive for prodromal PDD with a six-fold increased risk. Cognitive tests with a posterior cortical basis, to a greater extent, are predictive for prodromal PDD than tests with a fronto-striatal basis. The observed working memory related alterations in patients with PD-MCI suggest that early cognitive impairments in PD are linked to fronto-striatal dopaminergic dysfunction. The longitudinal development of cognitive impairment in PD reflects additional posterior cortical dysfunction. This might reflect a dual syndrome, with dopamine-depleted fronto-striatal alterations that characterise PD-MCI in general, whereas additional posterior cortical cognitive alterations with a non-dopaminergic basis to a greater extent characterise prodromal PDD. If, and how, the two potential syndromes interact, is still unclear. Thus, this thesis provides information on cognitive neuropathological changes in PD that might contribute to more relevant choices of pharmacotherapy and diagnostic accuracy in respect of PDD. However, additional large-scale longitudinal imaging studies are needed to further clarify the neuropatholgogical features of PD-MCI in respect of prodromal PDD.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2014. , 67 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1671
Parkinson’s disease, functional MRI, Mild cognitive impairment, Working memory, Parkinson’s disease dementia, BOLD
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96368ISBN: 978-91-7601-156-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-96368DiVA: diva2:764328
2014-12-10, Sal BIA 201, Biologihuset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Monchi, Oury, Professor
Eriksson, JohanNyberg, Lars, ProfessorForsgren, Lars, Professor
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