While direct visualization of Lewy body accumulation within the brain is not yet possible in living Parkinson's disease patients, brain imaging studies offer insights into how the buildup of Lewy body pathology impacts different regions of the brain. Unlike biological biomarkers and purely behavioral research, these brain imaging studies therefore offer a unique opportunity to relate brain localization to cognitive function and dysfunction in living patients. Magnetic resonance imaging studies can reveal physical changes in brain structure as they relate to different cognitive domains and task specific impairments. Functional imaging studies use a combination of task and resting state magnetic resonance imaging, as well as positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography, and can be used to determine changes in blood flow, neuronal activation and neurochemical changes in the brain associated with PD cognition and cognitive impairments. Other unique advantages to brain imaging studies are the ability to monitor changes in brain structure and function longitudinally as patients progress and the ability to study changes in brain function when patients are exposed to different pharmacological manipulations. This is particularly true when assessing the effects of dopaminergic replacement therapy on cognitive function in Parkinson's disease patients. Together, this chapter will describe imaging studies that have helped identify structural and functional brain changes associated with cognition, cognitive impairment, and dementia in Parkinson's disease.
View details for DOI 10.1016/bs.pbr.2022.01.008
View details for PubMedID 35248197