Scientific publications 

Resting state functional connectivity of the subthalamic nucleus in Parkinson's disease assessed using arterial spin-labeled perfusion fMRI

Fernández-Seara MA(1), Mengual E, Vidorreta M, Castellanos G, Irigoyen J, Erro E, Pastor MA [SP].

(1) Neuroimaging Laboratory, Division of Neuroscience, Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain; CIBERNED, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain.

Magazine: Human Brain Mapping

Date: May 15, 2015

Neurology [SP]


Neurophysiological changes within the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits appear to be a characteristic of Parkinson's disease (PD) pathophysiology. The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is one of the basal ganglia components showing pathological neural activity patterns in PD.

In this study, perfusion imaging data, acquired noninvasively using arterial spin-labeled (ASL) perfusion MRI, were used to assess the resting state functional connectivity (FC) of the STN in 24 early-to-moderate PD patients and 34 age-matched healthy controls, to determine whether altered FC in the very low frequency range of the perfusion time signal occurs as a result of the disease. Our results showed that the healthy STN was functionally connected with other nuclei of the basal ganglia and the thalamus, as well as with discrete cortical areas including the insular cortex and the hippocampus. In PD patients, connectivity of the STN was increased with two cortical areas involved in motor and cognitive processes.

These findings suggest that hyperconnectivity of the STN could underlie some of the motor and cognitive deficits often present even at early stages of the disease. The FC measures provided good discrimination between controls and patients, suggesting that ASL-derived FC metrics could be a putative PD biomarker.

CITATION  Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 May;36(5):1937-50. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22747.

you maybe interested


The Clínica is the greater private hospital with technological equipment of Spain, all in a single center.

Imagen de un PET, tecnología de vanguardia en la Clínica Universidad de Navarra


The professionals of the Clínica perform continuous research and training, always to the benefit of the patient.

Imagen profesionales de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra


Learn why we are different from other healthcare centers. Quality, speed, comfort and results.

Imagen del edificio de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra