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Brainstem neuromelanin and iron MRI reveals a precise signature for idiopathic and LRRK2 Parkinson's disease

Autores: Martínez Villar, Martín; Ariz Galilea, Mikel; Álvarez, I.; Castellanos, G.; Aguilar, M.; Hernández-Vara, J.; Caballol, N.; Garrido, A.; Bayes, A.; Vilas, D.; Martí, M. J.; Pastor, P. A. (Autor de correspondencia); Ortiz de Solórzano Aurusa, Carlos (Autor de correspondencia); Pastor, María A. (Autor de correspondencia)
Título de la revista: NPJ PARKINSON'S DISEASE
ISSN: 2373-8057
Volumen: 9
Número: 1
Páginas: 62
Fecha de publicación: 2023
Neuromelanin (NM) loss in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and locus coeruleus (LC) reflects neuronal death in Parkinson's disease (PD). Since genetically-determined PD shows varied clinical expressivity, we wanted to accurately quantify and locate brainstem NM and iron, to discover whether specific MRI patterns are linked to Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 G2019S PD (LRRK2-PD) or idiopathic Parkinson's disease (iPD). A 3D automated MRI atlas-based segmentation pipeline (3D-ABSP) for NM/iron-sensitive MRI images topographically characterized the SNc, LC, and red nucleus (RN) neuronal loss and calculated NM/iron contrast ratio (CR) and normalized volume (nVol). Left-side NM nVol was larger in all groups. PD had lower NM CR and nVol in ventral-caudal SNc, whereas iron increased in lateral, medial-rostral, and caudal SNc. The SNc NM CR reduction was associated with psychiatric symptoms. LC CR and nVol discriminated better among subgroups: LRRK2-PD had similar LC NM CR and nVol as that of controls, and larger LC NM nVol and RN iron CR than iPD. PD showed higher iron SNc nVol than controls, especially among LRRK2-PD. ROC analyses showed an AUC > 0.92 for most pairwise subgroup comparisons, with SNc NM being the best discriminator between HC and PD. NM measures maintained their discriminator power considering the subgroup of PD patients with less than 5 years of disease duration. The SNc iron CR and nVol increase was associated with longer disease duration in PD patients. The 3D-ABSP sensitively identified NM and iron MRI patterns strongly correlated with phenotypic PD features.