Aarhus Universitets segl

Niels Okkels

Mapping Cholinergic Synaptic Loss in Parkinson's Disease: An [18F]FEOBV PET Case-Control Study

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BACKGROUND: Cholinergic degeneration is strongly associated with cognitive decline in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) but may also cause motor symptoms and olfactory dysfunction. Regional differences are striking and may reflect different PD related symptoms and disease progression patterns.

OBJECTIVE: To map and quantify the regional cerebral cholinergic alterations in non-demented PD patients.

METHODS: We included 15 non-demented PD patients in early-moderate disease stage and 15 age- and sex-matched healthy controls for [18F]FEOBV positron emission tomography imaging. We quantitated regional variations using VOI-based analyses which were supported by a vertex-wise cluster analysis. Correlations between imaging data and clinical and neuropsychological data were explored.

RESULTS: We found significantly decreased [18F]FEOBV uptake in global neocortex (38%, p = 0.0002). The most severe reductions were seen in occipital and posterior temporo-parietal regions (p <  0.0001). The vertex-wise cluster analysis corroborated these findings. All subcortical structures showed modest non-significant reductions. Motor symptoms (postural instability and gait difficulty) and cognition (executive function and composite z-score) correlated with regional [18F]FEOBV uptake (thalamus and cingulate cortex/insula/hippocampus, respectively), but the correlations were not statistically significant after multiple comparison correction. A strong correlation was found between interhemispheric [18F]FEOBV asymmetry, and motor symptom asymmetry of the extremities (r = 0.84, p = 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: Cortical cholinergic degeneration is prominent in non-demented PD patients, but more subtle in subcortical structures. Regional differences suggest uneven involvement of cholinergic nuclei in the brain and may represent a window to follow disease progression. The correlation between asymmetric motor symptoms and neocortical [18F]FEOBV asymmetry indicates that unilateral cholinergic degeneration parallels ipsilateral dopaminergic degeneration.

TidsskriftJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Sider (fra-til)2493-2506
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2022

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