Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a condition closely associated with Parkinson disease (PD). RBD is a sleep disturbance that frequently manifests early in the development of PD, likely reflecting disruption in normal functioning of anatomical areas affected by neurodegenerative processes. Although specific neuropathological aspects shared by RBD and PD have yet to be fully documented, further characterization is critical to discovering reliable biomarkers that predict PD onset. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis of altered functional connections of the substantia nigra (SN) in patients in whom RBD was diagnosed.
Between-groups, single time point imaging.
UTHSC-H 3 telsa MRI center.
Ten patients with RBD, 11 patients with PD, and 10 age-matched controls.
Measurements and Results:
We measured correlations of SN time series using resting state blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) in patients with idiopathic RBD who were at risk for developing PD, patients in whom PD was diagnosed, and age-matched controls. Using voxelwise analysis of variance, different correlations (P < 0.01, whole-brain corrected) between left SN and left putamen were found in patients with RBD compared with controls and patients with PD. SN correlations with right cuneus/precuneus and superior occipital gyrus were significantly different for patients with RBD compared with both controls and patients with PD.
The results suggest that altered nigrostriatal and nigrocortical connectivity characterizes rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder before onset of obvious motor impairment. The functional changes are discussed in the context of degeneration in dopaminergic and cognition-related networks.
Ellmore TM; Castriotta RJ; Hendley KL; Aalbers BM; Furr-Stimming E; Hood AJ; Suescun J; Beurlot MR; Hendley RT; Schiess MC. Altered nigrostriatal and nigrocortical functional connectivity in rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. SLEEP 2013;36(12):1885-1892.