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Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2019 May 23;12:1756286419851400. doi: 10.1177/1756286419851400. eCollection 2019.

Preserved caudate function in young-onset patients with Parkinson's disease: a dual-tracer PET imaging study.

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Department of Neurology and National Clinical Research Center for Aging and Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
PET Center, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, and Institute of Functional and Molecular Medical Imaging, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Center for Neurosciences, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, New York, USA.
Department of Neurology and National Clinical Research Center for Aging and Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, 12 Wulumuqi Zhong Road, Jing'an District, Shanghai, 200040, China; Human Phenome Institute, Fudan University, 825 Zhangheng Road, Pudong District, Shanghai, 201203, China.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a highly heterogeneous clinical entity. Patients with young-onset PD (YOPD) show some characteristic manifestations to late-onset PD (LOPD). The current study aimed to investigate the cerebral dopaminergic and metabolic characteristics in YOPD with positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. In our study, 103 subjects (42 YOPD and 61 LOPD patients) accepted both 11C-N-2-carbomethoxy-3-(4-fluorophenyl)-tropane (11C-CFT) and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) cerebral PET imaging. Sixty-two patients out of 103 patients in our study completed the cognition tests. In this limited subsection, YOPD patients performed better in cognitive functioning than LOPD patients of similar disease duration. In 11C-CFT imaging, dopamine transporter binding in caudate was relatively spared in YOPD compared with lesions in putamen. In 18F-FDG PET, YOPD patients showed increased metabolism in basal ganglia relative to the healthy controls. When compared with LOPD patients, YOPD patients exhibited hypermetabolism in caudate and hypometabolism in putamen. Furthermore, the regional metabolic values in caudate correlated positively and moderately with the dopaminergic binding deficiency in caudate. The findings of this imaging study might offer new perspectives in understanding the characteristic manifestations in YOPD in light of better-preserved cognition function.


Parkinson’s disease; age of onset; dopamine transporter; metabolic network; positron emission tomography

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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