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3-D analysis of cortical morphometry in differential diagnosis of Parkinson's plus syndromes: mapping frontal lobe cortical atrophy in progressive supranuclear palsy patients.

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Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


With the ability to study brain anatomy in vivo using magnetic resonance imaging, studies on regional brain atrophy suggest possible improvements for differential diagnosis of movement disorders with parkinsonian symptoms. In this study, we investigate effects of different parkinsonian syndromes on the cortical gray matter thickness and the geometric shape of the cerebral cortex. The study consists of a total of 24 patients with a diagnosis of probable progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), multiple systems atrophy (MSA) or idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). We examine dense estimates of cortical gray matter thickness, sulcal depth, and measures of the curvature in a surface-based cortical morphometry analysis framework. Group difference results indicate higher cortical atrophy rate in the frontal lobe in PSP patients when compared to either MSA or IPD. These findings are indicative of the potential use of routine MRI and cortical morphometry in performing differential diagnosis in PSP, MSA and IPD.

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