Cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with increased expression of the PD cognition-related pattern (PDCP), which overlaps with the normal default mode network (DMN)

A team of researchers from the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research (USA) and the Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany) sought to determine to what extent the first network represents the loss of the second as a manifestation of the illness process. To solve this, they first analyzed metabolic imaging(fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography [PET]) from a large PD sample with varying cognitive performance. Cognitive impairment in these patients correlated with increased PDCP expression as well as DMN loss.

Then they tried to determine the spatial relationship of the 2 topographies at the subnetwork level. To this end, the team analyzed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data from an independent population. This approach uncovered a significant PD cognition-related network that resembled previously identified PET- and rs-fMRI-based PDCP topographies.

The paper featuring the research may be retrieved from the DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhab148