New imaging method could lead to diagnosis of early stage Parkinson’s disease

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used for the automatic detection of neuromuscular changes in early Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients. Yellow markers are regions in the putamen where PD patients show tissue damage, compared to healthy controls. Credit: Mezer Lab/Hebrew University

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive and debilitating brain disease that eventually destroys the patient’s ability to walk and even talk. His research is complicated, and in the early stages – it is impossible.

The usual way of seeing brain structure It uses a technique most of us are familiar with, called MRI. However, he is not smart enough to explain biological changes which occurs in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, and is currently only used to rule out some possible complications of the disease.

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU), led by Prof. Aviv Mezer, realized that cellular transformation in Parkinson’s it is possible to reveal by adjusting a related technique, known as quantitative MRI (qMRI). Their method allowed them to look at neurons in a deep part of the brain known as the striatum – an area known to be damaged during the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Using a new research method, developed by Mezer’s graduate student, Elior Drori, biological changes in the cellular tissue of the striatum were clearly defined. Furthermore, they were able to show that these changes are related to the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and the patients’ motor dysfunction. Their findings are published today in the journal Advances in Science.

qMRI achieves it mind by taking multiple MRI images using different excitation energies—instead of taking the same image in different colors of light. HU researchers were able to use qMRI analysis to reveal changes in tissue structure in different regions of the striatum. The expertise of these measurements could not be obtained previously in the laboratories that analyze the brain cells of deceased patients, which is not a suitable environment for early diagnosis or quality monitoring. remedy.

“When you don’t have measurements, you don’t know what’s normal and what’s abnormal brain structure, and what’s changing as the disease progresses,” Mezer said. The new data will facilitate early diagnosis and provide “markers” to monitor the effectiveness of future therapies. “What we discovered,” he continued, “is the tip of the iceberg.” It is a technique that they will now add to examine the changes of small parts in some areas computer. In addition, the team is now developing qMRI into a tool that can be used in another hospital setting. Mezer thinks that it is about 3-5 years below.

Drori further suggested that such research would allow the identification of subgroups in the population with Parkinson’s disease—some of whom may respond differently to certain medications than others. In the end, he sees this research “leading to personalized medicine, allowing the discovery of future drugs with each person receiving the most suitable. remedy.”

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Learn more:
Elior Drori, Mapping the structural gradients of the human striatum in normal aging and Parkinson’s disease, Advances in Science (2022). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abm1971.

hintNew imaging method may lead to early stage diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (2022, July 15) Retrieved 15 July 2022 from .html

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