Aberrant functional connectivity in patients with Parkinson’s disease and freezing of gait: a within- and between-network analysis

Komal Bharti, Antonio Suppa, Sara Pietracupa, Neeraj Upadhyay, Costanza Giannì, Giorgio Leodori, Francesca Di Biasio, Nicola Modugno, Nikolaos Petsas, Giovanni Grillea, Alessandro Zampogna, Alfredo Berardelli, Patrizia Pantano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Freezing of gait (FOG) is a disabling motor symptom that affects patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). MRI-based evidence suggest that multiple brain structures are involved in the occurrence of FOG. We investigated the integrity of the neuronal networks in PD patients with FOG (PD-FOG), considering both within-network resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) and between-network rsFC. Thirty-one PD patients (15 PD-FOG and 16 PD-nFOG) and 16 healthy subjects (HS) underwent a rsfMRI study. The data was analysed by using FSL Melodic and FSLNets software to study within- and between-network rsFC. PD-FOG displayed a higher within-network rsFC that involved a greater number of resting-state networks (RSNs) than PD-nFOG. rsFC in the basal ganglia network significantly correlated with the Timed Up and Go test. Moreover, when compared with HS, PD-FOG displayed reduced rsFC between the right fronto-parietal and executive-control RSNs, which significantly correlated with FOG severity. This study demonstrates that FOG is associated with an impaired interplay and communication between the RSNs that underpin attentive and executive abilities, especially in the right hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Between-network resting-state functional connectivity
  • Freezing of gait
  • Independent component approach
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Within-network resting-state functional connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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