Relationship of structural and functional connectivity of the nucleus basalis of Meynert in Parkinson’s disease dementia and Lewy body dementia.
Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are related conditions that are associated with cholinergic system dysfunction. Degeneration of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM), a basal forebrain structure that provides the dominant source of cortical cholinergic innervation, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of both PDD and DLB. Here we leverage the temporal resolution of magnetoencephalography (MEG) with the spatial resolution of MRI tractography in order to explore the intersection of functional and structural connectivity of the NBM in PDD and DLB patients undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) into this structure. We observe that NBM-cortical structural and functional connectivity correlate within spatially and spectrally segregated networks including: 1) a beta band network to supplementary motor area (SMA), where activity in the SMA was found to drive activity in the NBM, 2) a theta band network to medial temporal lobe structures encompassing the parahippocampal gyrus and 3) a theta band network to visual areas including lingual gyrus. These findings reveal functional networks of the NBM that are likely to subserve important roles in motor control, memory and visual function respectively. Furthermore, they motivate future studies aimed at disentangling network contribution to disease phenotype.