A divergent breakdown of neurocognitive networks in Parkinson's Disease mild cognitive impairment

Ignacio Aracil-Bolaños, Frederic Sampedro, Juan Marín-Lahoz, Andrea Horta-Barba, Saül Martínez-Horta, Mariángeles Botí, Jesús Pérez-Pérez, Helena Bejr-Kasem, Berta Pascual-Sedano, Antonia Campolongo, Cristina Izquierdo, Alexandre Gironell, Beatriz Gómez-Ansón, Jaime Kulisevsky, Javier Pagonabarraga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

19 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Cognitive decline is a major disabling feature in Parkinson's disease (PD). Multimodal imaging studies have shown functional disruption in neurocognitive networks related to cognitive impairment. However, it remains unknown whether these changes are related to gray matter loss, or whether they outline network vulnerability in the early stages of cognitive impairment. In this work, we intended to assess functional connectivity and graph theoretical measures and their relation to gray matter loss in Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI). We recruited 53 Parkinson's disease patients and classified them for cognitive impairment using Level-1 Movement Disorders Society-Task Force Criteria. Voxel-based morphometry, functional connectivity and graph theoretical measures were obtained on a 3-Tesla MRI scanner. Loss of gray matter was observed in the default mode network (bilateral precuneus), without a corresponding disruption of functional or graph theoretical properties. However, functional and graph theoretical changes appeared in salience network nodes, without evidence of gray matter loss. Global cognition and executive scores showed a correlation with node degree in the right anterior insula. We also found a correlation between visuospatial scores and right supramarginal gyrus node degree. Our findings highlight the loss of functional connectivity and topological features without structural damage in salience network regions in PD-MCI. They also underline the importance of multimodal hubs in the transition to mild cognitive impairment. This functional disruption in the absence of gray matter atrophy suggests that the salience network is a key vulnerable system at the onset of mild cognitive impairment in PD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3233-3242
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • default mode network
  • functional neuroimaging
  • Parkinson's disease
  • salience network


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