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Diffusion tensor imaging of Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy: a tract-based spatial statistics study

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posted on 2023-06-08, 20:56 authored by Amanda Worker, Camilla Blain, Jozef Jarosz, K Ray Chaudhuri, Gareth J Barker, Steve C R Williams, Richard G Brown, Nigel LeighNigel Leigh, Flavio Dell'Acqua, Andrew Simmons
Although often clinically indistinguishable in the early stages, Parkinson's disease (PD), Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) have distinct neuropathological changes. The aim of the current study was to identify white matter tract neurodegeneration characteristic of each of the three syndromes. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was used to perform a whole-brain automated analysis of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data to compare differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) between the three clinical groups and healthy control subjects. Further analyses were conducted to assess the relationship between these putative indices of white matter microstructure and clinical measures of disease severity and symptoms. In PSP, relative to controls, changes in DTI indices consistent with white matter tract degeneration were identified in the corpus callosum, corona radiata, corticospinal tract, superior longitudinal fasciculus, anterior thalamic radiation, superior cerebellar peduncle, medial lemniscus, retrolenticular and anterior limb of the internal capsule, cerebral peduncle and external capsule bilaterally, as well as the left posterior limb of the internal capsule and the right posterior thalamic radiation. MSA patients also displayed differences in the body of the corpus callosum corticospinal tract, cerebellar peduncle, medial lemniscus, anterior and superior corona radiata, posterior limb of the internal capsule external capsule and cerebral peduncle bilaterally, as well as the left anterior limb of the internal capsule and the left anterior thalamic radiation. No significant white matter abnormalities were observed in the PD group. Across groups, MD correlated positively with disease severity in all major white matter tracts. These results show widespread changes in white matter tracts in both PSP and MSA patients, even at a mid-point in the disease process, which are not found in patients with PD.


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