1Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Bran Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; 2Department of Neurology and Center of Clinical Neuroscience, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic; 3Department of Cybernetics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic; 4Department of Radiology, Na Homolce Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic; 5Department of Stereotactic and Radiation Neurosurgery, Na Homolce Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic; 6Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
In this work, the effect of levodopa was tested on 24 patients suffering from Parkinsons disease (PD). We used a novel, model-free method based on eigenvector centrality to reveal the changes of connectivity patterns following the dopaminergic challenge, using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. We observed major alterations in connectivity between cerebellum and other key regions responsible for motor control, such as substantia nigra, subthalamic nucleus, putamen, thalamus, but also cerebellum itself. Thus, we demonstrate that levodopa modulates the connectivity in motor networks affected by PD. Additionally to striato-thalamo-cortical system, also cerebello-thalamic loops deserve significant attention in PD research.