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    Neurodegeneration in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) in parkinsonian syndromes may affect the nigral territories differently. The objective of this study was to investigate the regional selectivity of neurodegenerative changes in the SNc in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and atypical parkinsonism using neuromelanin-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A total of 22 healthy controls (HC), 38 patients with PD, 22 patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), 20 patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA, 13 with the parkinsonian variant, 7 with the cerebellar variant), 7 patients with dementia with Lewy body (DLB), and 4 patients with corticobasal syndrome were analyzed. volume and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) values of the SNc were derived from neuromelanin-sensitive MRI in the whole SNc. Analysis of signal changes was performed in the sensorimotor, associative, and limbic territories of the SNc. SNc volume and corrected volume were significantly reduced in PD, PSP, and MSA versus HC. Patients with PSP had lower volume, corrected volume, SNR, and contrast-to-noise ratio than HC and patients with PD and MSA. Patients with PSP had greater SNR reduction in the associative region than HC and patients with PD and MSA. Patients with PD had reduced SNR in the sensorimotor territory, unlike patients with PSP. Patients with MSA did not differ from patients with PD. This study provides the first MRI comparison of the topography of neuromelanin changes in parkinsonism. The spatial pattern of changes differed between PSP and synucleinopathies. These nigral topographical differences are consistent with the topography of the extranigral involvement in parkinsonian syndromes. © 2022 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. © 2022 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.


    Lydia Chougar, Emina Arsovic, Rahul Gaurav, Emma Biondetti, Alice Faucher, Romain Valabrègue, Nadya Pyatigorskaya, Gwendoline Dupont, François-Xavier Lejeune, Florence Cormier, Jean-Christophe Corvol, Marie Vidailhet, Bertrand Degos, David Grabli, Stéphane Lehéricy. Regional Selectivity of Neuromelanin Changes in the Substantia Nigra in Atypical Parkinsonism. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society. 2022 Jun;37(6):1245-1255

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    PMID: 35347754

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