White matter microstructure damage in tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease patients
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Resting tremor is one of the cardinal motor features of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Several lines of evidence suggest resting tremor may have different underlying pathophysiological processes from those of bradykinesia and rigidity. The current study aims to identify white matter microstructural abnormalities associated with resting tremor in PD.
We recruited 60 patients with PD (30 with tremor-dominant PD and 30 with nontremor-dominant PD) and 26 normal controls. All participants underwent clinical assessment and diffusion tensor MRI. We used tract-based spatial statistics to investigate white matter integrity across the entire white matter tract skeleton.
Compared with both healthy controls and the nontremor-dominant PD patients, the tremor-dominant PD patients were characterized by increased mean diffusivity (MD) and axial diffusivity (AD) along multiple white matter tracts, mainly involving the cerebello-thalamo-cortical (CTC) pathway. The mean AD value in clusters with significant difference was correlated with resting tremor score in the tremor-dominant PD patients. There was no significant difference between the nontremor-dominant PD patients and controls.
Our results support the notion that resting tremor in PD is a distinct condition in which significant microstructural white matter changes exist and provide evidence for the involvement of the CTC in tremor genesis of PD.
KeywordsParkinson’s disease Tremor-dominant type Diffusion tensor imaging White matter integrity
Compliance with ethical standards
This study was funded by the National Science Fund of China (Grant 81571247).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethics committee of West China Hospital and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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