Altered brain network centrality in Parkinson’s disease patients after deep brain stimulation: a functional MRI study using a voxel-wise degree centrality approach

J Neurosurg 138:1712–1719, 2023

After deep brain stimulation (DBS), patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) show improved motor symptoms and decreased verbal fluency, an effect that occurs before the initiation of DBS in the subthalamic nucleus. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of DBS on whole-brain degree centrality (DC) and seed-based functional connectivity (FC) in PD patients.

METHODS The authors obtained resting-state functional MRI data of 28 PD patients before and after DBS surgery. All patients underwent MRI scans in the off-stimulation state. The DC method was used to evaluate the effects of DBS on whole-brain FC at the voxel level. Seed-based FC analysis was used to examine network function changes after DBS.

RESULTS After DBS surgery, PD patients showed significantly weaker DC values in the left middle temporal gyrus, left supramarginal gyrus, and left middle frontal gyrus, but significantly stronger DC values in the midbrain, left precuneus, and right precentral gyrus. FC analysis revealed decreased FC values within the default mode network (DMN).

CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrated that the DC of DMN-related brain regions decreased in PD patients after DBS surgery, whereas the DC of the motor cortex increased. These findings provide new evidence for the neural effects of DBS on voxel-based whole-brain networks in PD patients.