Stefan T. Schwarz1, Nin Bajaj2, Paul S. Morgan3, Scott Reid4, Penelope A. Gowland5, Dorothee P. Auer1
1Division of Radiological and Imaging Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom; 2Department of Neurology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom; 3Medical Physics, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom; 4Clinical Science Development Group, GE Healthcare, Diagnostic Imaging, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom; 5School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Parkinsons disease (PD) is characterised by a progressive loss of pigmented neuromelanin containing dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain substantia nigra (SN). There is increasing evidence to suggest that specific T1 weighted MRI sequences with additional magnetisation transfer (MT) prepulses can be used to demonstrate neuromelanin pigment associated signal of the SN. The purpose of this study was to optimise previously published MRI protocols by investigating effects of off- and on-resonance MT pulses on SN neuromelanin related MRI signal and on the signal reduction caused by neuromelanin depletion in PD. Robustness of protocols was assessed over different scanner platforms.