Neuroscience

Brain disease and network reorganization

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Science  12 Feb 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6530, pp. 688-689
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6530.688-c

Parkinson's disease (PD) offers an opportunity to study the interplay between compensatory functional and molecular mechanisms. Although postsynaptic dopamine D2 receptors are up-regulated in PD, their importance in neural activity has never been identified. To investigate the relationship between reorganization of dopaminergic networks and functional reorganization of brain activity patterns, Rebelo et al. combined PET and fMRI scans of the brain areas involved in the execution of saccades. They found a tight link between functional activation and synaptic changes at the molecular level, reflecting network reorganization in PD. The association between D2 receptor binding and reorganization of the saccadic cortical network reflects parietostriatal rerouting in response to a progressive frontostriatal dopamine deficit as the disease develops.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 118, e2013962118 (2020).

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