Silvia Mangia1, Andrew Tyan1, Paul Tuite2, Michael Lee3, Michael Garwood1, Shalom Michaeli1
1CMRR - Dept. of Radiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States; 2Dept. of Neurology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States; 3Dept. of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States
In addition to classic midbrain pathology, Parkinson disease (PD) is accompanied by changes in pontine and medullary brainstem structures. Using novel rotating frame adiabatic R1ρ (i.e., measurements of longitudinal relaxation during adiabatic full passage pulses) and modified magnetization transfer (MT) MRI mapping, we sought to identify brainstem alterations in nine individuals with mild-moderate PD (off medication) and ten age-matched controls at 4 Tesla. We observed significant differences in MRI parameters within midbrain and medullary brainstem structures of PD patients as compared to controls that may be due to early stages of the disease.