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Abstract #1213

A Biophysical Model of Iron-Induced Relaxation in Human Substantia Nigra for Early Stage Parkinson Diagnostic

Malte David Brammerloh1,2, Charlotte Lange1,2, Tilo Reinert1,2, Carsten J├Ąger1, Filippos Gavriilidis1, Kerrin Pine1, Isabel Weigelt3, Robert Trampel1, Enrico Reimer1, Markus Morawski3, Thomas Arendt3, Nikolaus Weiskopf1,2, and Evgeniya Kirilina1,4

1Department of Neurophysics, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, 2Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany, 3Paul Flechsig Institute of Brain Research, Leipzig, Germany, 4Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Berlin, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Berlin, Germany

We present a biophysical model that quantitatively describes gradient and spin echo relaxation in substantia nigra induced by iron accumulated the neuromelanin of dopaminergic neurons. This model was informed by 3D quantitative microscopic iron distributions obtained from classical histology and Proton-Induced X-ray Emission. It was validated by comparison to quantitative MRI on post mortem human brain tissue. We demonstrate that the total iron content of DN can be extracted analytically from relaxometry in nigrosomes. This results provides an important step toward a highly desired early stage biomarker for detecting dopaminergic neurons depletion in Parkinson's disease.

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