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Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2013 Apr;19(4):450-2. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2012.12.002. Epub 2013 Jan 5.

Changes in the blood-brain barrier status closely correlate with the rate of disease progression in patients with multiple system atrophy: a longitudinal study.

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Department of Neurology and Brain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.



The pathomechanisms responsible for disease progression in multiple system atrophy are unknown. The blood-brain barrier status may act as a modifier of disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases.


We evaluated the 12-month longitudinal change of the blood-brain barrier in 16 multiple system atrophy patients and analyzed its correlation with changes in clinical severity.


The baseline blood-brain barrier index did not correlate significantly with change in disease severity. However, changes in the blood-brain barrier indices over 12 months had significant positive correlations with changes in total unified multiple system atrophy rating scale (r = 0.56, p = 0.024) and part II scores (r = 0.56, p = 0.025). These correlation coefficients were higher after adjusting for baseline neurological deficits.


These data suggest that changes in the blood-brain barrier status are closely coupled with the rate of disease progression in multiple system atrophy, potentially acting as a contributor to disease progression.

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