Susceptibility MRI revealed distinct patterns of Parkinson disease (PD) progression in the substantia nigra pars compacta and substantia nigra pars reticulata, according to a recent study. These findings may resolve past controversies and have implications in the pathophysiological processes during PD progression. 72 PD patients and 62 controls were studied at both baseline and after 18 months with MRI. R2* and quantitative susceptibility mapping values from the substantia nigra pars compacta and substantia nigra pars reticulata were calculated. Researchers found:
- At baseline, R2* and quantitative susceptibility mapping were higher in both the substantia nigra pars compacta and substantia nigra pars reticulata in all PD patients.
- Longitudinally, the substantia nigra pars compacta R2* showed a faster increase in PD compared with controls (time × group), whereas quantitative susceptibility mapping did not.
- Baseline substantia nigra pars compacta R2* was higher in all PD subgroups (group), but showed a significantly faster increase only in later‐stage PD (time × group) that correlated with changes in nonmotor symptoms (r = 0.746).
Du G, Lewis MM, Sica C, et al. Distinct progression pattern of susceptibility MRI in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's patients. [Published online ahead of print May 14, 2018]. Mov Disord. doi:10.1002/mds.27318.
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