Much remains unknown about non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), which have variable occurrence, progression, and severity among patients. The existing suite of neuroimaging tools has yielded insight that cannot be garnered by traditional methods such as behavioral and post-mortem assessment. They provide information on brain activity and structure that is invaluable to understanding abnormalities associated with neurodegeneration in PD. Among these tools, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is often favored for its safety and spatial resolution. Resting state fMRI research capitalizes on the wealth of information that the brain offers when a person is not performing a motor or cognitive task. It is also a good means to study impaired and heterogeneous populations, such as people with PD. The present article reviews research that applies resting state fMRI to the ongoing hunt for biomarkers of PD non-motor symptoms. Thus far, research in this subfield has focused on two of the most common and significant non-motor symptoms: cognitive impairment and depression. These studies support resting state fMRI as a valid and practical tool for the study of these symptoms, but discrepancies among findings highlight the importance of further research with standardized procedures.
View details for DOI 10.1186/2054-7072-1-4
View details for PubMedID 26788330
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4677732