Journal of Neurology

, Volume 262, Issue 10, pp 2247–2256 | Cite as

Resting-state functional connectivity of dentate nucleus is associated with tremor in Parkinson’s disease

  • Huizi Ma
  • Huimin Chen
  • Jinping Fang
  • Liyan Gao
  • Lingyan Ma
  • Tao Wu
  • Yanan Hou
  • Jiarong Zhang
  • Tao FengEmail author
Original Communication


Cerebello-thalamo-cortical circuit has been indicated important for tremor in Parkinson’s disease (PD), but the role of dentate nucleus (DN) in parkinsonian tremor remains unclear. To investigate whether DN plays a role in PD tremor, we recruited 50 PD and 29 age-matched health controls (HC). The patients were divided into tremor-dominant (TD) and non-tremor-dominant (NTD) groups. We collected resting-state fMRIs data for each subject. The bilateral DN was then chosen as the region of interest to examine PD tremor-related network changes, as well as its correlation with tremor severity. Voxel-wise functional connectivity analysis revealed that the bilateral DN had higher connectivity with the bilateral cerebellar anterior lobe, and had lower connectivity with the bilateral prefrontal cortex in TD compared to the HC and NTD groups. Functional connectivity of the bilateral DN with the bilateral cerebellar posterior lobe was also higher in TD than NTD group. Functional connectivity between the bilateral DN and the bilateral cerebellar posterior lobe showed positive correlation with tremor severity, while that between the bilateral DN and the bilateral prefrontal cortex displayed negative correlation. Our study demonstrates higher dentato-cerebellar connectivity and lower dentato-prefrontal connectivity in TD patients, which might be involved in the pathogenesis of PD tremor. And we conclude that DN might be associated with the pathogenesis of PD tremor.


fMRI Dentate nucleus Parkinson’s disease Tremor Functional connectivity 



We appreciate Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission, Beijing Health System, Beijing Nature Science Foundation, Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, National Key Technology Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and National Science Foundation of China for the financial support. This research was supported by Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission, China (Grant No. Z111107058811012), High Level Technical Personnel Training Project of Beijing Health System, China (Grant No. 2011-3-022), Beijing Nature Science Foundation and Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, China (Grant No. kz20120025028), National Key Technology Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2013BAI09B03), Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders (BIBD-PXM2013_014226_07_000084), and the National Science Foundation of China (Grant Numbers 81271429).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

No conflict exists among authors.

Ethical standard

All procedures were approved and supervised by the ethics committee of Beijing Tiantan Hospital, in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained either from the participants or their closest relatives.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huizi Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Huimin Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jinping Fang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liyan Gao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lingyan Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tao Wu
    • 3
    • 4
  • Yanan Hou
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jiarong Zhang
    • 3
    • 4
  • Tao Feng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease, Beijing Tiantan HospitalCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.China National Clinical Research Center for Neurological DiseasesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Parkinson’s Disease Center, Beijing Institute for Brain DisordersCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of Neurobiology, Key Laboratory on Neurodegenerative Disorders of Ministry of Education, Beijing Institute of Geriatrics, Xuanwu HospitalCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina

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