Anxiety in Parkinson's Disease Is Associated with Changes in Brain Structural Connectivity

Guillaume Carey*, Romain Viard, Renaud Lopes, Gregory Kuchcinski, Luc Defebvre, Albert F G Leentjens, Kathy Dujardin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Anxiety in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been associated with grey matter changes and functional changes in anxiety-related neuronal circuits. So far, no study has analyzed white matter (WM) changes in patients with PD and anxiety. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify WM changes by comparing PD patients with and without anxiety, using diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI). METHODS: 108 non-demented PD patients with (n?=?31) and without (n?=?77) anxiety as defined by their score on the Parkinson Anxiety Scale participated. DTI was used to determine the fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) in specific tracts within anxiety-related neuronal circuits. Mean FA and MD were compared between groups and correlated with the severity of anxiety adjusted by sex, center, Hoehn & Yahr stage, levodopa equivalent daily dosage, and Hamilton depression rating scale. RESULTS: Compared to patients without anxiety, PD patients with anxiety showed lower FA within the striato-orbitofrontal, striato-cingulate, cingulate-limbic, and caudate-thalamic tracts; higher FA within the striato-limbic and accumbens-thalamic tracts; higher MD within the striato-thalamic tract and lower MD within the striato-limbic tract. CONCLUSIONS: Anxiety in PD is associated with microstructural alterations in anxiety-related neuronal circuits within the WM. This result reinforces the view that PD-related anxiety is linked to structural alteration within the anxiety-related brain circuits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1000
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Parkinson's disease
Issue number6
Early online date17 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Identifier: NCT01792843.


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