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Abstract #3024

Swallow tail sign and nigrosome 1  -  close but not quite the same

Malte Brammerloh1,2, Evgeniya Kirilina1,3, Anneke Alkemade4, Pierre-Louis Bazin1,4, Caroline Jantzen1, Carsten Jäger1,5, Andreas Herrler6, Kerrin J. Pine1, Penny Gowland7, Markus Morawski5, Birte Forstmann4, and Nikolaus Weiskopf1,2
1Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, 2Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany, 3Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 4Integrative Model-based Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 5Paul Flechsig Institute of Brain Research, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany, 6Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 7Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Center, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

MRI holds great promise for diagnosing Parkinson's disease, based on the disappearance of the swallow tail sign in T2*-weighted images, which past research assumed to be nigrosome 1. We studied the sign's anatomical underpinning, combining ultra-high field MRI in vivo and postmortem, 3D-reconstructed microscopy, and immunohistochemistry. Based on block-face images and calbindin-D28K immunohistochemistry, we constructed a 3D nigrosome atlas. We show that nigrosome 1 extends beyond the swallow tail sign by co-registering this atlas to in vivo MRI. As the swallow tail sign only partially overlaps with but is not identical to nigrosome 1, its interpretation needs to be revised.

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