Megan P. Phillips1, David K. Powell2, Zhiming Zhang3, Richard Grondin3, Peter A. Hardy3
1Center for Biomedical Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, United States; 2MRISC, University of Kentucky; 3Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Kentucky
Parkinsons Disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of motor control. PD results from the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). Depletion of the dopamine neurons in the SN affects white matter tracts connecting the SN to the putamen. Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) , the goals of our research are first to identify the white matter tracts between the SN and putamen effected by the depletion of dopamine and second, identify the effects of age on white matter, specifically, fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD).