Tracy R. Melzer1, 2, Richard Watts, 13, Michael R. MacAskill1, 2, Toni L. Pitcher1, 2, Leslie Livingston1, 2, Ross J. Keenan4, John C. Dalrymple-Alford, 15, Tim J. Anderson1, 2
1New Zealand Brain Research Institute, Christchurch, New Zealand; 2University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand; 3College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, United States; 4Christchurch Radiology Group, New Zealand; 5University of Canterbury, New Zealand
We used structural MRI to characterize grey matter differences associated with cognitive status in Parkinsons disease (PD). PD patients were classified as cognitively normal (PD-N), with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI), or with dementia (PD-D). Those with PD-D exhibited widespread grey matter atrophy relative to healthy individuals, PD-N, and PD-MCI; limited atrophy was identified in PD-MCI. Global cognitive score was significantly associated with regional grey matter loss. The development of dementia in Parkinsons disease is associated with extensive atrophy, however limited atrophy occurs earlier. Longitudinal follow up will help clarify the utility of structural MRI to predict PD-related cognitive decline.