Neuromelanin MR Imaging In Parkinson’s Disease

Volume 2 Issue 1
Article Information

Abstract

The development and application of neuromelanin sensitive MR imaging has allowed the detection of significant changes in the substantia nigra (SN) of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients, with high sensitivity and specificity in differentiating PD patients from non-PD aged controls, even in early disease stages, namely at the time of clinical diagnosis. These MR neuromelanin changes in the SN of PD patients reproduced in vivo long known characteristic pathological changes of PD. Several image evaluation methods have been used, corroborating the reproducibility of the data and enabling wider applications of this imaging technique in the clinical practice.
In this review we analyze the background and the technical aspects of neuromelanin sensitive MR imaging, focusing on the applications of these specific sequences for the study of PD, emerging as a possible disease imaging biomarker and a promising tool for individual patient evaluation.

Key words: Parkinson’s Disease, neuromelanin, Substantia nigra, locus coeruleus, MRI.