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Regional brain volumes distinguish PSP, MSA-P, and PD: MRI-based clinico-radiological correlations

Authors

  • Dominic C. Paviour MRCP,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Sara Koe PSP Research Centre, Institute of Neurology UCL, London United Kingdom
    2. Dementia Research Centre (UCL), Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom
    • The Sara Koe PSP Research Centre, Institute of Neurology, 1 Wakefield Street, London WC1N and Dementia Research Centre (UCL), Institute of Neurology, 8-11 Queen Square, London WC1N, UK

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  • Shona L. Price BSc,

    1. Dementia Research Centre (UCL), Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom
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  • Marjan Jahanshahi PhD,

    1. The Cognitive-Motor Neuroscience Group, Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, United Kingdom
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  • Andrew J. Lees MD, FRCP,

    1. The Sara Koe PSP Research Centre, Institute of Neurology UCL, London United Kingdom
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  • Nick C. Fox MD, FRCP

    1. Dementia Research Centre (UCL), Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and multiple system atrophy (MSA) are neurodegenerative disorders, each with a prevalence of around 5 per 100,000. Regional brain atrophy patterns differ in the two disorders, however, and magnetic resonance imaging is sometimes helpful in distinguishing them in the later stages. We measured whole brain and regional volumes, including cerebellum, pons, midbrain, superior cerebellar peduncle (SCP), and ventricular volumes as well as frontal and posterior–inferior cerebral regions in 18 subjects with PSP, 9 with MSA-P (parkinsonian phenotype), 9 with Parkinson's disease (PD), and 18 healthy controls. Associations between these volumes, cognitive profiles, and clinical measures of disease severity and motor disability were assessed. Mean midbrain volume was 30% smaller in PSP than in PD or controls (P < 0.001) and 15% smaller than in MSA-P (P = 0.009). The mean SCP volume in PSP was 30% smaller than in MSA-P, PD, or controls (P < 0.001). Mean cerebellar volumes in MSA-P were 20% smaller than in controls and PD and 18% smaller than in PSP (P = 0.01). Mean pontine volume in MSA-P was 30% smaller than in PD or controls (P < 0.001) and 25% smaller than in PSP (P = 0.01). Motor disability was most strongly associated with midbrain volume, and more severe executive dysfunction was associated with reduced frontal volume. These distinct patterns of cortical and subcortical atrophy, when considered together rather than independently, better differentiate PSP and MSA-P from each other and also from healthy controls. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society

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