Byeong-Yeul Lee1,2, Jeffrey Vesek1, James R. Connor3, Qing X. Yang1,3
1Center for NMR Research, Radiology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, United States; 2Bioengineering, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, United States; 3Neurosurgery, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, United States
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sensorimotor disorder that has 5-10% prevalence in Western countries. A number of studies have suggested that brain iron deficiency is strongly coupled with RLS pathology. In this study we applied quantitative multimodal imaging techniques to investigate the mechanism of how cerebral iron deficiency affects brain structures and morphology in RLS. Multimodal data analysis provided converging evidence of hypomyelination resulting from iron deficiency in the sensorimotor pathway in RLS patients compared to controls: lower R2(1/T2) relaxation rates, increased radial diffusivity, decreasd fractional anisotropy values, and reduced brain volume. Therefore, the fusion of multi-modal imaging data provides a realistic approach to better understanding on the mechanism underlying RLS.