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Abstract #1517

Substantia nigra changes in Parkinson’s Disease: correlation between Neuromelanin contrast and Free Water fraction

Joana M Grilo1, Marc Golub1, Sofia Reimão2,3, Rafael Neto Henriques4, Ana Fouto1, Patrícia Pita Lobo3, Margherita Fabbri3, Joaquim J Ferreira3,5, and Rita G Nunes1
1Department of Bioengineering, ISR-Lisbon/LARSyS, Lisbon, Portugal, 2Neurological Imaging Department, Hospital de Santa Maria - CHLN, Lisbon, Portugal, 3Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, 4Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal, 5CNS – Campus Neurológico Sénior, Torres Vedras, Portugal

Parkinson’s Disease is characterized by the degeneration of neuromelanin (NM)-containing neurons in the Substantia Nigra (SN). MRI techniques have emerged aiming to evaluate PD disease progression. NM-MRI (current gold-standard), depicts a reduction in signal intensity at the posterior SN. Recently, free water (FW) fraction maps obtained from DWI, have shown an increase of FW in the SN in PD. This work’s goal was to evaluate how the FW and NM signal relate. A negative correlation between FW and NM was observed in the SN posterior region, suggesting that both metrics can potentially be used as imaging biomarkers.

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