• serial MRI;
  • Parkinson's disease dementia


Increased rates of brain atrophy are seen in Alzheimer's disease, but whether rates are similarly increased in other dementias such as Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) has not been well examined. We determined the rates of brain atrophy using serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in PDD and compared this finding to rates seen in cognitively intact Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and age-matched control subjects. Thirty-one patients (PD = 18, PDD = 13) and 24 age-matched controls underwent serial volumetric 1.5 T MRI scans, approximately 1 year apart. Baseline and repeat scans were registered and quantification of the brain boundary shift integral was used to determine whole-brain atrophy rates. Rates of brain atrophy were significantly increased in PDD (1.12 ± 0.98%/year) compared to PD (0.31 ± 0.69%/year; P = 0.018) and control subjects (0.34 ± 0.76%/year; P = 0.015). There were no differences in atrophy rates between controls and PD (P = 0.79). No correlations between increased atrophy rates and age or dementia severity (Mini-Mental State Examination score) were observed. Serial MRI may be a useful tool for monitoring disease progression in PDD and further studies should investigate its utility for early diagnosis. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society