Association of Nucleus Basalis of Meynert Functional Connectivity and Cognition in Idiopathic Rapid-Eye-Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder

Jung Ick Byun, Kwang Su Cha, Minah Kim, Woo Jin Lee, Han Sang Lee, Jun Sang Sunwoo, Jung Won Shin, Tae Joon Kim, Jin Sun Jun, Han Joon Kim, Won Chul Shin, Carlos H. Schenck, Sang Kun Lee, Ki Young Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose Cognitive impairments are common in isolated rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder (iRBD), in which the cholinergic system may play an important role. This study aimed to characterize the cortical cholinergic activity using resting-state functional connectivity (FC) of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) according to the cognitive status of iRBD patients. Methods In this cross-sectional study, 33 patients with polysomnography-confirmed iRBD and 20 controls underwent neuropsychological evaluations and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Thirteen of the iRBD patients had mild cognitive impairment (iRBD-MCI), and the others were age-matched patients with normal cognition (iRBD-NC). The seed-to-voxel NBM–cortical FC was compared among the patients with iRBD-MCI, patients with iRBD-NC, and controls. Correlations between average values of significant clusters and cognitive function scores were calculated in the patients with iRBD. Results There were group differences in the FC of the NBM with the left lateral occipital cortex and lingual gyrus (adjusted for age, sex, and education level). The strength of FC was lower in the iRBD-MCI group than in the iRBD-NC and control groups (each post-hoc p<0.001). The average NBM–lateral occipital cortex FC was positively correlated with the memory-domain score in iRBD patients. Conclusions The results obtained in this study support that cortical cholinergic activity is impaired in iRBD patients with MCI. FC between NBM and posterior regions may play a central role in the cognitive function of these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-570
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurology (Korea)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • REM sleep behavior disorder
  • cognitive function
  • functional brain imaging
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • nucleus basalis of Meynert


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