Iron and neuromelanin imaging in basal ganglia circuitry in Parkinson's disease with freezing of gait Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the structural alterations of the deep gray matter (DGM) in the basal ganglia circuitry of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with freezing of gait (FOG) using quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) and neuromelanin-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging (NM-MRI). METHODS: Twenty-five (25) PD patients with FOG (PD-FOG), 22 PD patients without FOG (PD-nFOG), and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs) underwent 3-dimensional multi-echo gradient recalled echo and NM-MRI scanning. The mean volume and susceptibility of the DGM on QSM data and the relative contrast (NMRC-SNpc) and volume (NMvolume-SNpc) of the substantia nigra pars compacta on NM-MRI were analyzed among groups. A multiple linear regression analysis was performed to explore the associations of FOG severity with MRI measurements and disease stage. RESULTS: The PD-FOG group showed higher susceptibility in the bilateral caudal substantia nigra (SN) compared to the HC group. Both the PD-FOG and PD-nFOG groups showed lower volumes than the HC group in the bilateral caudate and putamen as determined from the QSM data. The NMvolume-SNpc on NM-MRI in the PD-FOG group was significantly lower than in the HC and PD-nFOG groups. Both the PD-FOG and PD-nFOG groups showed significantly decreased NMRC-SNpc. CONCLUSIONS: The PD-FOG patients showed abnormal neostriatum atrophy, increases in iron deposition in the SN, and lower NMvolume-SNpc. The structural alterations of the DGM in the basal ganglia circuits could lead to the abnormal output of the basal ganglia circuit to trigger the FOG in PD patients.


  • Zhang, Youmin
  • Zhang, Chencheng
  • Wang, Xinhui
  • Liu, Yu
  • Jin, Zhijia
  • Haacke, Mark
  • He, Naying
  • Li, Dianyou
  • Yan, Fuhua

publication date

  • September 2024