Recent advances in imaging in Parkinson disease

Toru Baba, Atsushi Takeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Despite recent knowledge on the pathophysiology of Parkinson disease, the precise and early diagnosis of this condition remains difficult. Advances in imaging techniques have enabled the assessment of in vivo structural, neurometabolic, and neurochemical changes in Parkinson disease, and their role as biomarkers have assumed greater importance in recent years. We presently review the various approaches with these imaging techniques for the study of Parkinson disease. Voxel-based morphometry studies with structural MRI showed a characteristic pattern of gray matter loss, and fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose- positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) studies have indicated latent network abnormalities in Parkinson disease. Moreover, radiotracer imaging with dopaminergic markers facilitates the assessment of pre- and post-synaptic nigro-striatal integrity, and other radiotracers have been used in the studies of nondopaminergic neurotransmitter systems, such as the cholinergic, noradrenergic, and serotonergic systems. These imaging techniques can be used to detect presymptomatic disease and to monitor disease progression. Thus, imaging data provide meaningful insights into the pathological process in Parkinson disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-432
Number of pages10
JournalBrain and Nerve
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr 1


  • Amyloid imaging
  • Functional network analysis
  • Neurotransmitter system
  • Parkinson disease
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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