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Predictors and Neuropsychiatric Profile of Nucleus Basalis of Meynert Degeneration in Parkinson Disease

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Technical Report,29 Sep 2017,28 Sep 2018

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Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia Charlottesville United States

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The long-term goal of this research proposal is to contribute to the development of improved therapies for non-motor symptoms in sporadic Parkinson disease PD, specifically the neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia, psychosis, and apathy. This proposal aims to identify predictors of nucleus basalis of Meynert degeneration and will specifically assess whether MAPT H1 haplotype and alpha-synclein levels in the cerebrospinal fluid are associated with nucleus basalis of Meynert volume. This proposal also aims to show that the nucleus basalis of Meynert is associated with psychosis and apathy in PD. To complete these aims we have collected genetic samples and clinical data for 113 advanced PD subjects with MRIs. We have downloaded and processed 228 baseline MRIs and 97 4-year MRIs in an early stage PD cohort. Cholinergic nucleus 4 density Ch4, our proxy measure for NBM volume, has been generated for these MRI scans. In the early-stage PD cohort, we found that reduced baseline Ch4 density, our proxy measure for NBM volume, was associated with increased risk of future psychotic symptoms. This finding supports targeting this region with deep brain stimulation as a potential symptomatic and neuroprotective therapy for psychosis in PD.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry

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