by Yoichi Sawada, Yoshiyuki Nishio, Kyoko Suzuki, Kazumi Hirayama, Atsushi Takeda, Yoshiyuki Hosokai, Toshiyuki Ishioka, Yasuto Itoyama, Shoki Takahashi, Hiroshi Fukuda, Etsuro Mori
The attentional set-shifting deficit that has been observed in Parkinson’s disease (PD) has long been considered neuropsychological evidence of the involvement of meso-prefrontal and prefrontal-striatal circuits in cognitive flexibility. However, recent studies have suggested that non-dopaminergic, posterior cortical pathologies may also contribute to this deficit. Although several neuroimaging studies have addressed this issue, the results of these studies were confounded by the use of tasks that required other cognitive processes in addition to set-shifting, such as rule learning and working memory. In this study, we attempted to identify the neural correlates of the attentional set-shifting deficit in PD using a compound letter task and 18F-fluoro-deoxy-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography during rest. Shift cost, which is a measure of attentional set-shifting ability, was significantly correlated with hypometabolism in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, including the putative human frontal eye field. Our results provide direct evidence that dysfunction in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex makes a primary contribution to the attentional set-shifting deficit that has been observed in PD patients.