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Neurotherapeutics. 2011 Jan;8(1):72-81. doi: 10.1007/s13311-010-0007-z.

Neuroimaging in Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre, University of British Columbia & Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common disorder in which the primary features can be related to dopamine deficiency. Changes on structural imaging are limited, but a wealth of abnormalities can be detected using positron emission tomography, single photon emission computed tomography, or functional magnetic resonance imaging to detect changes in neurochemical pathology or functional connectivity. The changes detected on these studies may reflect the disease process itself and/or compensatory responses to the disease, or they may arise in association with disease- and/or treatment-related complications. This review will focus mainly on neurochemical and metabolic studies and reviews various approaches to the assessment of dopaminergic function as well as the function of other neurotransmitters that may be affected in PD. A number of clinical applications are highlighted, including diagnostic utility, identification of preclinical disease, changes associated with motor and nonmotor complications of PD, and the effects of various therapeutic interventions.

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