Caroline Rae1, Clarence Chiang1, Gabrielle Todd2, Michael Hayes3, Kay Double1
1Neuroscience Research Australia, UNSW, Randwick, NSW, Australia; 2The University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia; 3Concord Repatriation Hospital, The University of Sydney, Australia
Evidence suggests that Parkinsons disease-associated neuronal dysfunction occurs years before symptoms appear and clinical diagnosis is possible. Compensatory changes in brain motor circuitry, including increased activation or novel area recruitment may help to mask symptom development. We studied the pre-supplementary motor area in persons with PD, those at increased risk, and normal controls using short-echo PRESS at 3T. We found significantly increased glutamate in PD and strong correlations between glu/NAA and Glu/Cre with a score of motor deficits, the UPDRS. We suggest that increased preSMA activity may predate decreased NAA but whether this is a compensatory mechanism awaits further investigation.