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Nigrosome 1 imaging in REM sleep behavior disorder and its association with dopaminergic decline

Barber, Thomas R., Griffanti, Ludovica, Bradley, Kevin M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1911-3382, McGowan, Daniel R., Lo, Christine, Mackay, Clare E., Hu, Michele T. and Klein, Johannes C. 2020. Nigrosome 1 imaging in REM sleep behavior disorder and its association with dopaminergic decline. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology 7 (1) , pp. 26-35. 10.1002/acn3.50962

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Abstract

Objectives Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) patients have a high risk of developing a Parkinsonian disorder, offering an opportunity for neuroprotective intervention. Predicting near‐term conversion, however, remains a challenge. Dopamine transporter imaging, while informative, is expensive and not widely available. Here, we investigate the utility of susceptibility‐weighted MRI (SWI) to detect abnormalities of the substantia nigra in RBD, and explore their association with striatal dopaminergic deficits. Methods SWI of the substantia nigra was performed in 46 RBD patients, 27 Parkinson’s patients, and 32 control subjects. Dorsal nigral hyperintensity (DNH) was scored by two blinded raters, and separately quantified using a semiautomated process. Forty‐two RBD patients were also imaged with 123I‐ioflupane single‐photon emission computed tomography (DaT SPECT/CT). Results Consensus visual DNH classification was possible in 87% of participants. 27.5% of RBD patients had lost DNH, compared with 7.7% of control subjects and 96% of Parkinson’s patients. RBD patients lacking DNH had significantly lower putamen dopaminergic SPECT/CT activity compared to RBD patients with DNH present (specific uptake ratios 1.89 vs. 2.33, P = 0.002). The mean quantified DNH signal intensity declined in a stepwise pattern, with RBD patients having lower intensity than controls (0.837 vs. 0.877, P = 0.01) but higher than PD patients (0.837 vs. 0.765, P < 0.001). Interpretation Over one quarter of RBD patients have abnormal substantia nigra SWI reminiscent of Parkinson’s, which is associated with a greater dopaminergic deficit. This modality may help enrich neuroprotective trials with early converters.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 2328-9503
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 8 November 2019
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 10:21
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/131977

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