SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • volumetric MRI;
  • freezing of gait;
  • gray matter

ABSTRACT

Objectives

The pathophysiology underlying freezing of gait (FOG) in Parkinson's disease (PD) is poorly understood. We tested whether gray matter (GM) atrophy contributes to FOG in PD.

Methods

Voxel-based morphometry quantified GM atrophy in 106 patients who were classified as freezers (n = 30) or nonfreezers (n = 76). Well-matched smaller subgroups were also studied. Balance, gait, and cognitive function were assessed, and we evaluated the relationship between GM, FOG severity, and symptoms associated with FOG.

Results

GM was significantly reduced in the inferior parietal lobe and angular gyrus in the matched freezers (n = 22), compared to nonfreezers (n = 22; P < 0.015, cluster-level corrected). In the entire cohort, FOG severity was related to bilateral caudate volumes.

Conclusions

GM atrophy in cortical (i.e., parietal lobe and angular gyrus) and subcortical areas (i.e., caudate) are related to FOG. Disparities among the existing findings suggest that inferences regarding specific brain regions should be made with caution. © 2013 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society