Decision Making under Risk Condition in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease: A Behavioural and fMRI Study
We aimed to study whether previously described impairment in decision making under risky conditions in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) is affected by deficits in using information about potential incentives or by processing feedback (in terms of fictitious gains and losses following each decision). Additionally, we studied whether the neural correlates of using explicit information in decision making under risk differ between PD patients and healthy subjects. We investigated ten cognitively intact PD patients and twelve healthy subjects with the Game of Dice Task (GDT) to assess risky decision making, and with an fMRI paradigm to analyse the neural correlates of information integration in the deliberative decision phase. Behaviourally, PD patients showed selective impairment in the GDT but not on the fMRI task that did not include a feedback component. Healthy subjects exhibited lateral prefrontal, anterior cingulate and parietal activations when integrating decision-relevant information. Despite similar behavioural patterns on the fMRI task, patients exhibited reduced parietal activation. Behavioural results suggest that PD patients’ deficits in risky decision making are dominated by impaired feedback utilization not compensable by intact cognitive functions. Our fMRI results suggest similarities but also differences in neural correlates when using explicit information for the decision process, potentially indicating different strategy application even if the interfering feedback component is excluded.