Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Widespread brain atrophy detected in Parkinson's disease with newly developed structural pattern

Date:
December 13, 2011
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
Atrophy in the hippocampus, the region of the brain known for memory formation and storage, is evident in Parkinson's disease patients with cognitive impairment, including early decline known as mild cognitive impairment, according to a new study.

Atrophy in the hippocampus, the region of the brain known for memory formation and storage, is evident in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with cognitive impairment, including early decline known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), according to a study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study is published in the December issue of the Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

First, using traditional imaging analyses, researchers found that Parkinson's patients with MCI had more atrophy in the hippocampus, basal ganglia, amygdala, and insula compared with Parkinson's patients with normal cognition, whereas Parkinson's patients with normal cognition showed no significant loss of brain volume compared with healthy controls. For Parkinson's patients with full-blown dementia, atrophy was present not only in the hippocampus but also the surrounding medial temporal lobe, also crucial to memory and other cognitive abilities.

Then researchers generated the first structural pattern of classifying brain atrophy associated with dementia in Parkinson's disease by analyzing the scans of PD with either dementia or normal cognition.

"When we layer different information gathered from structural MRIs and generate a structural pattern that weighs different brain regions on their ability to distinguish PD with dementia from those with normal cognition, we can see a pattern of diffuse gray matter and white matter atrophy in the brains of Parkinson's patients with cognitive decline," explains the study's lead author, Daniel Weintraub, MD, associate professor of Geriatric Psychiatry with Penn's Perelman School of Medicine and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. "This complex analysis of brain imaging data suggests that it is possible to detect a wide range of brain atrophy at the initial stages of cognitive decline in patients with Parkinson's disease, which has not been reported previously."

As Parkinson's-related mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI) is increasingly recognized as an important clinical syndrome of possible precursor of Parkinson's dementia, biomarkers with good screening or diagnostic validity can help categorize levels of cognitive impairment, may predict future cognitive decline, and may ultimately help inform treatment decisions.

The neurodegeneration that contributes to cognitive decline seen in Parkinson's, particularly in regions of the brain known to play a role in Alzheimer's disease, such as the hippocampus, is likely due to a "complex interaction of different disease pathologies," the researchers said. Approximately 80 percent of Parkinson's disease patients ultimately develop dementia.

Parkinson's patients with normal cognition showed no atrophy and had similar brain volumes to healthy controls without Parkinson's or cognitive impairment. Therefore, researchers believe that significant brain atrophy in areas subserving cognition does not occur in Parkinson's disease without a comorbid cognitive impairment.

Eighty-four Parkinson's patients from the Penn Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center and 23 healthy controls received MRIs of the brain. Of the 84 Parkinson's patients, 61 had normal cognition, 12 were classified as having mild cognitive impairment, and 11 were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease dementia.

The research team included Dr. Weintraub, Jimit Doshi, MS, Deepthi Koka, MS, Christos Davatzikos, PhD, Andrew Siderowf, MD, MSCE, John Duda, MD, David Wolk, MD, Paul Moberg, PhD, Sharon Xie, PhD, and Christopher Clark, MD, representing the Penn Udall Center for Parkinson's Research and the Perelman School of Medicine's departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, Radiology, Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Dr. Weintraub and Dr. Duda are also with Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Clark is with Avid Radiopharmaceuticals.

The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes and National Institute of Aging, as well as a grant awarded by Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Widespread brain atrophy detected in Parkinson's disease with newly developed structural pattern." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212221022.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2011, December 13). Widespread brain atrophy detected in Parkinson's disease with newly developed structural pattern. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212221022.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Widespread brain atrophy detected in Parkinson's disease with newly developed structural pattern." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212221022.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins