Magnetic resonance imaging of the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease

Authors

  • Stéphane Lehéricy MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre de NeuroImagerie de Recherche—CENIR (http://www.cenir.org), Groupe Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere, Paris, France
    2. Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle epiniere, UMR-S975, Paris, France
    3. Inserm, U975, Paris, France
    4. CNRS, UMR 7225, Paris, France
    5. ICM—Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle epiniere, Paris, France
    • Service de neuroradiologie, Groupe Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere, 47 Bd de l'Hopital, 75651 Paris Cedex 13, France
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  • Michael A. Sharman MD,

    1. Centre de NeuroImagerie de Recherche—CENIR (http://www.cenir.org), Groupe Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere, Paris, France
    2. Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle epiniere, UMR-S975, Paris, France
    3. Inserm, U975, Paris, France
    4. CNRS, UMR 7225, Paris, France
    5. ICM—Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle epiniere, Paris, France
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  • Clarisse Longo Dos Santos PhD,

    1. Centre de NeuroImagerie de Recherche—CENIR (http://www.cenir.org), Groupe Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere, Paris, France
    2. Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle epiniere, UMR-S975, Paris, France
    3. Inserm, U975, Paris, France
    4. CNRS, UMR 7225, Paris, France
    5. ICM—Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle epiniere, Paris, France
    6. CEA, NeuroSpin, Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
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  • Raphaël Paquin PhD,

    1. Centre de NeuroImagerie de Recherche—CENIR (http://www.cenir.org), Groupe Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere, Paris, France
    2. Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle epiniere, UMR-S975, Paris, France
    3. Inserm, U975, Paris, France
    4. CNRS, UMR 7225, Paris, France
    5. ICM—Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle epiniere, Paris, France
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  • Cecile Gallea PhD

    1. Centre de NeuroImagerie de Recherche—CENIR (http://www.cenir.org), Groupe Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere, Paris, France
    2. Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle epiniere, UMR-S975, Paris, France
    3. Inserm, U975, Paris, France
    4. CNRS, UMR 7225, Paris, France
    5. ICM—Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle epiniere, Paris, France
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  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to report.

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.

Abstract

Until recently, conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was most often negative in Parkinson's disease or showed nonspecific findings. Recent developments in structural MRI, including relaxometry, magnetization transfer, and neuromelanin imaging, have demonstrated improved contrast and enabled more accurate visualization of deep brain nuclei, in particular, the substantia nigra. Meanwhile, diffusion imaging has provided useful biomarkers of substantia nigra degeneration, showing reduced anisotropy and anatomical connectivity with the striatum and thalamus. These advances in structural imaging are complemented by findings of magnetic resonance spectroscopy on brain metabolism and resting-state functional MRI on functional connectivity. This article presents an overview of these new structural, metabolic, and resting-state functional MRI techniques and their implications for Parkinson's disease. The techniques are reviewed in the context of their potential for better understanding the disease in terms of diagnosis and pathophysiology and as biomarkers of its progression. © 2012 Movement Disorder Society

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