The clinical non-motor connectome in early Parkinson's Disease.
- Competence Center for Methodology and Statistics
BACKGROUND: Non-motor symptoms (NMS) of various anatomical origins are seen in early stage idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). OBJECTIVE: To analyse when and how NMS are linked together at this stage of the disease. METHODS: Prospective study recruiting 64 IPD patients with </=3 years of disease duration and 71 age-matched healthy controls (HC). NMS were clustered in 7 non-motor domains (NMD): general cognition, executive function, visuospatial function, autonomic function, olfaction, mood, and sleep. Correlation coefficients >/=|0.3| were considered as significant. Bootstrapped correlation coefficients between the scores were generated in both groups. Fourteen IPD patients and 19 HC were available for a follow-up study two years later. RESULTS: The mean age of both groups was similar. 58% of IPD patients and 37% of HC were male (p = 0.01). At baseline IPD patients performed less well than HC on all NMD (p value between 0.0001 and 0.02). Out of 91 possible correlations between NMD, 21 were significant in IPD patients and 14 in HC at the level of >/=|0.3|. The mean correlation level was higher in IPD patients than in HC, as evidenced by the higher box plot of correlation coefficients. Visuospatial scores at baseline were predictive of the motor deterioration at the follow-up exam. CONCLUSION: At early IPD stage various NMS are linked together, although not connected by anatomical networks. Such a clinical NMD connectome suggests almost synchronous disease initiation at different sites as also supported by fMRI findings. Alternatively, there may be compensation-driven interconnectivity of NMD.