• functional magnetic resonance imaging;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • impulse control disorder


A range of impulse control disorders (ICDs) are reported to occur in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, alterations in brain activity at rest and during risk taking occurring with ICDs in PD are not well understood. We used both arterial spin labeling perfusion functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to directly quantify resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) fMRI to measure neural responses to risk taking during performance on the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART). Eighteen PD patients, either with a diagnosis of one or more ICDs (N = 9) or no lifetime ICD history (N = 9), participated. BOLD fMRI data demonstrated that PD patients without an ICD activate the mesocorticolimbic pathway during risk taking. Compared with non-ICD patients, ICD patients demonstrated significantly diminished BOLD activity in the right ventral striatum during risk taking and significantly reduced resting CBF in the right ventral striatum. ICDs in PD are associated with reduced right ventral striatal activity at rest and diminished striatal activation during risk taking, suggesting that a common neural mechanism may underlie ICDs in individuals with PD and those without PD. Thus, treatments for ICDs in non-PD patients warrant consideration in PD patients with ICDs. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society