Magnetic resonance spectroscopic evidence for presupplementary motor area neuronal dysfunction in Parkinson's disease



The anterior cingulate (AC) gyrus and the presupplementary motor area (pre-SMA) show pathological changes in Parkinson's disease (PD). We examined if PD patients show magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) changes in NAA/Cr in the AC, pre-SMA, or posterior cingulate (PC). Forty-four (27 male, 17 female) healthy nondemented PD patients and 38 controls (18 male, 20 female) 65 years of age and older were examined using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Mini-Mental State Examination, Frontal Assessment Battery, and Geriatric Depression Scale. MRS was performed at 1.5 T. Voxels (8 cc; PRESS; TE = 80; TR = 1,600 ms) were placed mid-sagittally. Gray matter and white matter volumes were measured within voxels using SPM2. Spectra were analyzed using LC model to yield NAA/Cr and Cho/Cr. Demographic and cognitive measures did not differ between groups. Motor UPDRS was 17.7 ± 8.8 for PD. Pre-SMA NAA/Cr was lower in PD (PD: 1.39 ± 0.17; control: 1.47 ± 0.16; P = 0.045) and correlated negatively with age (r = 0.39; P = 0.01), but not with UPDRS, disease duration, or dopamine equivalents. AC and PC NAA/Cr and Cho/Cr in any region did not differ (P > 0.05). In conclusion, pre-SMA NAA/Cr was selectively decreased in PD, consistent with neuronal dysfunction. This should be further examined as a biomarker of disease in PD. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society