Cognitive impairment amongst Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients is highly prevalent and associated with an increased risk of dementia. There is growing evidence that altered cerebrovascular functions contribute to cognitive impairment. Few studies have compared cerebrovascular changes in PD patients with normal and impaired cognition and those with mild-cognitive-impairment (MCI) without movement disorder. Here, we investigated arteriolar-cer-ebral-blood-volume (CBVa), an index reflecting the homeostasis of the most actively regulated segment in the microvasculature, using advanced MRI in various brain regions in PD and MCI patients and matched controls. Our goal is to find brain regions with altered CBVa that are specific to PD with normal and impaired cognition, and MCI-without-movement-disorder, respectively. In PD patients with normal cognition (n=10), CBVa was significantly decreased in the substantia nigra, caudate and putamen when compared to controls. In PD patients with impaired cognition (n=6), CBVa showed a decreasing trend in the substantia nigra, caudate and putamen, but was significantly increased in the presupplementary motor area and intracalcarine gyrus compared to controls. In MCI-patients-without-movement-disorder (n=18), CBVa was significantly increased in the caudate, putamen, hippocampus and lingual gyrus compared to controls. These findings provide important information for efforts towards developing biomarkers for the evaluation of potential risk of PD dementia (PDD) in PD patients. The current study is limited in sample size and therefore is exploratory in nature. The data from this pilot study will serve as the basis for power analysis for subsequent studies to further investigate and validate the current findings.
- Blood vessel
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging