Neuroimaging of cerebral glucose metabolism and blood flow is ideally suited to assay widely-distributed brain circuits as a result of local molecular events and behavioral modulation in the central nervous system. With the progress in novel analytical methodology, this endeavor has succeeded in unraveling the mechanisms underlying a wide spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, statistical brain mapping studies have made significant strides in describing the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) and related disorders by providing signature biomarkers to determine the systemic abnormalities in brain function and evaluate disease progression, therapeutic responses, and clinical correlates in patients. In this article, we review the relevant clinical applications in patients in relation to healthy volunteers with a focus on the generation of unique spatial covariance patterns associated with the motor and cognitive symptoms underlying PD. These characteristic biomarkers can be potentially used not only to improve patient recruitment but also to predict outcomes in clinical trials.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health