Functional MRI to Study Gait Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease: a Systematic Review and Exploratory ALE Meta-Analysis
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Purpose of Review
Whilst gait impairment is a main cause for disability in Parkinson’s disease (PD), its neural control remains poorly understood. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies of surrogate features of gait in PD.
Assessing the results from PET or SPECT scans after a period of actual walking as well as fMRI during mental imagery or virtual reality (VR) gait paradigms, we found a varying pattern of gait-related brain activity. Overall, a decrease in activation of the SMA during gait was found in PD compared to elderly controls. In addition, the meta-analysis showed that the most consistent gait-related activation was situated in the cerebellar locomotor region (CLR) in PD.
Despite methodological heterogeneity, the combined neuroimaging studies of gait provide new insights into its neural control in PD, suggesting that CLR activation likely serves a compensatory role in locomotion.
KeywordsParkinson’s disease Gait Neuroimaging Cerebellum Activation of likelihood estimation Meta-analysis
The authors would like to thank Dr. Robert Hardwick for assisting with the ALE meta-analysis.
MG is supported by a Postdoctoral Mandate of the KU Leuven Internal Fund; AN and BWD are supported by Flanders Research Funds (G086715N), ND is supported by Jacques & Gloria Gossweiler Foundation, SJGL is supported by a NHMRC–Australia Research Council dementia fellowship (#1110414).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Moran Gilat, Bauke W. Dijkstra, Nicholas D’Cruz, Alice Nieuwboer and Simon JG Lewis each declare no potential conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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