METHODS IN EXPLORING EFFECTIVE CONNECTIVITY: APPLICATIONS IN MRI AND OUR MODEL OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractEffective connectivity provides information about the influence one brain region has over another, including directionality of influence and whether activation of one region stimulates or inhibits activity in another (Friston 14). Currently, much of our knowledge of brain network effective connectivity comes from animal studies. New ways of analyzing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) datahave allowed for less invasive means for collecting data on human brain network effective connectivity. fMRI techniques in particular are regularly dismissed as only showing correlation, but new statistical modelling methods are able to establish causal relationships between brain region activation. This paper explores some of the current methods we have available for exploring effective connectivity, and some of the possible applications in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) treatment. Although the motor pathway, particularly the nigrostriatal pathway, is relatively well established in literature, the effects that dopamine agonists, such as L-DOPA, have on the effective connectivity of the nigrostriatal and mesocortical pathways has not been thoroughly investigated.