ObjectiveTo investigate in a cross-sectional study the contributions of altered cerebellar resting-state functional connectivity (FC) to cognitive impairment in Parkinson disease (PD).MethodsWe conducted morphometric and resting-state FC-MRI analyses contrasting 81 participants with PD and 43 age-matched healthy controls using rigorous quality assurance measures. To investigate the relationship of cerebellar FC to cognitive status, we compared participants with PD without cognitive impairment (Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] scale score 0, n = 47) to participants with PD with impaired cognition (CDR score ≥0.5, n = 34). Comprehensive measures of cognition across the 5 cognitive domains were assessed for behavioral correlations.ResultsThe participants with PD had significantly weaker FC between the vermis and peristriate visual association cortex compared to controls, and the strength of this FC correlated with visuospatial function and global cognition. In contrast, weaker FC between the vermis and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was found in the cognitively impaired PD group compared to participants with PD without cognitive impairment. This effect correlated with deficits in attention, executive functions, and global cognition. No group differences in cerebellar lobular volumes or regional cortical thickness of the significant cortical clusters were observed.ConclusionThese results demonstrate a correlation between cerebellar vermal FC and cognitive impairment in PD. The absence of significant atrophy in cerebellum or relevant cortical areas suggests that this could be related to local pathophysiology such as neurotransmitter dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E384-E396
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 28 2020


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