Intrinsic Brain Connectivity Predicts Impulse Control Disorders in Patients With Parkinson's Disease

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Impulse control disorders can be triggered by dopamine replacement therapies in patients with PD. Using resting-state functional MRI, we investigated the intrinsic brain network connectivity at baseline in a cohort of drug-naive PD patients who successively developed impulse control disorders over a 36-month follow-up period compared with patients who did not.


Baseline 3-Tesla MRI images of 30 drug-naive PD patients and 20 matched healthy controls were analyzed. The impulse control disorders' presence and severity at follow-up were assessed by the Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale. Single-subject and group-level independent component analysis was used to investigate functional connectivity differences within the major resting-state networks. We also compared internetwork connectivity between patients. Finally, a multivariate Cox regression model was used to investigate baseline predictors of impulse control disorder development.


At baseline, decreased connectivity in the default-mode and right central executive networks and increased connectivity in the salience network were detected in PD patients with impulse control disorders at follow-up compared with those without. Increased default-mode/central executive internetwork connectivity was significantly associated with impulse control disorders development (P < 0.05).


Our findings demonstrated that abnormal brain connectivity in the three large-scale networks characterizes drug-naive PD patients who will eventually develop impulse control disorders while on dopaminergic treatment. We hypothesize that these divergent cognitive and limbic network connectivity changes could represent a potential biomarker and an additional risk factor for the emergence of impulse control disorders. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

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