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Abstract #0545

Tracking serial Parkinson’s related changes in the substantia nigra using Neuromelanin MRI and free-water diffusion MRI

Yue Xing1,2,3, Saadnah Naidu1,2,3, Halim Abdul-Sapuan1,2,3, Ali-Reza Mohammadi-Nejad2,3, Jonathan Evans4, Ofer Pasternak5, Stamatios Sotiropoulos2,3, Christopher R. Tench1,3, and Dorothee P. Auer1,2,3
1Division of Clinical Neuroscience, Queen’s Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 2Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 3NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 4Department of Neurology, Nottingham University Hospital Trust, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 5Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology (O.P.), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is characterized by loss of neuromelanin-containing dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN), resulting in depigmentation as its pathological hallmark. Neuromelanin (NM)-sensitive-MRI consistently shows PD-related nigral signal-loss with limited evidence for longitudinal change. Nigral free-water (FW) derived from diffusion-MRI can track disease progression. This multimodal-serial study compared subregional annual depigmentation rates and FW in PD and controls. Longitudinal NM signal-loss and FW increase was seen in PD throughout the SN with significant acceleration compared to controls in the ventral-SN. There was no between-metrics correlation, suggesting that these promising serial biomarkers may track different aspects of PD progression.

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