Rafael Delgado Y. Palacios1, Jelle Veraart2, Greet Vanhoutte1, Heinrich Schell3, Marleen Verhoye1, Philipp Kahle3, Jan Sijbers2, Annemie Van Der Linden1
1Bio-Imaging Lab, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; 2Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; 3Laboratory of Functional Neurogenetics, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University Clinics Tbingen, Tbingen, Germany
Parkinsons disease (PD) is a movement disorder mainly characterized by impaired motor function and the presence of abnormal α-synuclein(αSYN). To assess pre-symptomatic changes in regions involved in the motor circuit (caudate putamen and motor cortex) and cognitive function (hippocampus), we performed Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging in a pre-symptomatic human mutant αSYN overexpressing mouse model for PD. This showed diffusion and kurtosis variation in the three examined regions, which suggests that microstructural alterations precede the expression of symptoms. Although the exact nature of these changes has yet to be resolved, these findings may help to develop a non invasive marker for PD.