Mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been linked with functional brain changes. Previously, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we reported reduced cortico-striatal activity in patients with PD who also had mild cognitive impairment (MCI) vs. those who did not (non-MCI). We followed up these patients to investigate the longitudinal effect on the neural activity. Twenty-four non-demented patients with Parkinson's disease (non-MCI: 12, MCI: 12) were included in the study. Each participant underwent two fMRIs while performing the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task 20 months apart. The non-MCI patients recruited the usual cognitive corticostriatal loop at the first and second sessions (Time 1 and Time 2, respectively). However, decreased activity was observed in the cerebellum and occipital area and increased activity was observed in the medial prefrontal cortex and parietal lobe during planning set-shift at Time 2. Increased activity in the precuneus was also demonstrated while executing set-shifts at Time 2. The MCI patients revealed more activity in the frontal, parietal and occipital lobes during planning set-shifts, and in the parietal and occipital lobes, precuneus, and cerebellum, during executing set-shift at Time 2. Analysis regrouping of both groups of PD patients revealed that hippocampal and thalamic activity at Time 1 was associated with less cognitive decline over time. Our results reveal that functional alteration along the time-points differed between the non-MCI and MCI patients. They also underline the importance of preserving thalamic and hippocampal function with respect to cognitive decline over time.
A., N.-S., M.S., A.-A., A., H., C., D., B., M.-C., C., B., … O., M. (2016). Patterns of longitudinal neural activity linked to different cognitive profiles in Parkinson’s disease. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 8(NOV). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2016.00275