Aim The aim of the present study is to investigate the relations between both functional connectivity and brain networks with cognitive decline, in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Introduction PD phenotype is not limited to motor impairment but, rather, a wide range of non-motor disturbances can occur, cognitive impairment being one of the commonest. However, how the large-scale organization of brain activity differs in cognitively impaired patients, as opposed to cognitively preserved ones, remains poorly understood. Methods Starting from source-reconstructed resting-state magnetoencephalography data, we applied the PLM to estimate functional connectivity, globally and between brain areas, in PD patients with and without cognitive impairment (respectively PD-CI and PD-NC), as compared to healthy subjects (HS). Furthermore, using graph analysis, we characterized the alterations in brain network topology and related these, as well as the functional connectivity, to cognitive performance. Results We found reduced global and nodal PLM in several temporal (fusiform gyrus, Heschl’s gyrus and inferior temporal gyrus), parietal (postcentral gyrus), and occipital (lingual gyrus) areas within the left hemisphere, in the gamma band, in PD-CI patients, as compared to PD-NC and HS. With regard to the global topological features, PD-CI patients, as compared to HS and PD-NC patients, showed differences in multi frequencies bands (delta, alpha, gamma) in the Leaf fraction, Tree hierarchy (both higher in PD-CI) and Diameter (lower in PD-CI). Finally, we found statistically significant correlations between the MoCA test and both the Diameter in delta band and the Tree Hierarchy in the alpha band. Conclusion Our work points to specific large-scale rearrangements that occur selectively in cognitively compromised PD patients and correlated to cognitive impairment.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience