• Multimodal (EEG-fMRI) functional connectivity study of levodopa effect in Parkinson’s disease
  • Pittau, Francesca <1978>


  • MED/26 Neurologia


  • Aim: To assess if the intake of levodopa in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) changes cerebral connectivity, as revealed by simultaneous recording of hemodynamic (functional MRI, or fMRI) and electric (electroencephalogram, EEG) signals. Particularly, we hypothesize that the strongest changes in FC will involve the motor network, which is the most impaired in PD. Methods: Eight patients with diagnosis of PD “probable”, therapy with levodopa exclusively, normal cognitive and affective status, were included. Exclusion criteria were: moderate-severe rest tremor, levodopa induced dyskinesia, evidence of gray or white matter abnormalities on structural MRI. Scalp EEG (64 channels) were acquired inside the scanner (1.5 Tesla) before and after the intake of levodopa. fMRI functional connectivity was computed from four regions of interest: right and left supplementary motor area (SMA) and right and left precentral gyrus (primary motor cortex). Weighted partial directed coherence (w-PDC) was computed in the inverse space after the removal of EEG gradient and cardioballistic artifacts. Results and discussion: fMRI group analysis shows that the intake of levodopa increases hemodynamic functional connectivity among the SMAs / primary motor cortex and: sensory-motor network itself, attention network and default mode network. w-PDC analysis shows that EEG connectivity among regions of the motor network has the tendency to decrease after the intake the levodopa; furthermore, regions belonging to the DMN have the tendency to increase their outflow toward the rest of the brain. These findings, even if in a small sample of patients, suggest that other resting state physiological functional networks, beyond the motor one, are affected in patients with PD. The behavioral and cognitive tasks corresponding to the affected networks could benefit from the intake of levodopa.


  • 2015-04-17


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Pittau, Francesca (2015) Multimodal (EEG-fMRI) functional connectivity study of levodopa effect in Parkinson’s disease, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze mediche specialistiche , 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7131.