Harnessing advances in structural MRI to enhance research on Parkinson's disease

Department of Neurology and the Center for Integrative Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco, 675 Nelson Rising Lane, San Francisco, CA 94158 USA.
Imaging in medicine 04/2013; 5(2):91-94. DOI: 10.2217/iim.13.8
Source: PubMed

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    ABSTRACT: Located in the midbrain, the substantia nigra (SN) can be divided into the pars compacta, which is the primary source of dopamine (DA) projections to the striatum, and the pars reticulata, which represents a key output zone, the basal ganglia. The SN can be visualized in detail with specific MRI sequences and, with PET, radioligands targeting presynaptic DA functions. The region is implicated in several neuropsychiatric disorders, and individual differences in nigral volume and receptor levels have been associated with specific personality features and have been found to provide useful clinical information in Parkinson's disease.
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