Over 90 percent of patients with Parkinson's disease experience speech-motor impairment, namely, hypokinetic dysarthria characterized by reduced pitch and loudness. Resting-state functional connectivity analysis of blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging is a useful measure of intrinsic neural functioning. We utilized resting-state functional connectivity modeling to analyze the intrinsic connectivity in patients with Parkinson's disease within a vocalization network defined by a previous meta-analysis of speech (Brown et al., 2009). Functional connectivity of this network was assessed in 56 patients with Parkinson's disease and 56 gender-, age-, and movement-matched healthy controls. We also had item 5 and 18 of the UPDRS, and the PDQ-39 Communication subscale available for correlation with the voice network connectivity strength in patients. The within-group analyses of connectivity patterns demonstrated a lack of subcortical-cortical connectivity in patients with Parkinson's disease. At the cortical level, we found robust (homotopic) interhemispheric connectivity but only inconsistent evidence for many intrahemispheric connections. When directly contrasted to the control group, we found a significant reduction of connections between the left thalamus and putamen, and cortical motor areas, as well as reduced right superior temporal gyrus connectivity. Furthermore, most symptom measures correlated with right putamen, left cerebellum, left superior temporal gyrus, right premotor, and left Rolandic operculum connectivity in the voice network. The results reflect the importance of (right) subcortical nodes and the superior temporal gyrus in Parkinson's disease, enhancing our understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of vocalization impairment in Parkinson's disease.
- Functional connectivity
- Parkinson's disease
- Voice network
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology