Se-Hong Oh1, Jong-Min Kim2,
Sung-Yeon Park1, Dae-Hyuk Kwon1, Hye-Jin Jeong1,
Myung-Kyun Woo1, Young-Bo Kim1, John Huston III3,
Kendall H. Lee4, Beom
1Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University of Medicine & Science, Incheon, Korea, Republic of; 2Departments of Neurology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of; 3Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, United States; 44Department of Neurosurgery & Department of Physiology & Biomedical Engineering, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, United States
Parkinsons disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder resulting from progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) pars compacta. Therefore, imaging of the SN has been regarded to hold greatest potential for use in the diagnosis of PD. At the 7.0T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), it is now possible to delineate clearly the shapes and boundaries of the SN. We scanned eight early and two advanced PD patients, along with nine age-matched control subjects, using a 7.0T MRI in an attempt to directly visualize the SN and quantify the differences in shape and boundaries of SN between PD subjects in comparison with the normal control subjects. In the normal controls, the boundaries between the SN and crus cerebri appear smooth, and clean arch shapes that stretch ventrally from posterior to anterior. In contrast, these smooth and clean arch-like boundaries were lost in PD subjects. The measured correlation analyses show that, in PD patients, there is age-dependent correlation and substantially stronger UPDRS motor score-dependent correlation. These results suggest that, by using 7.0T MRI, it appears possible to use these visible and distinctive changes in morphology as a diagnostic marker of PD.