Non Animal Testing Database

Ultra-powerful brain scanners in Parkinson’s disease treatmen choice

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom(1)
University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia(2)
To understand the causes of cognitive symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), the researchers used a new ultra-high strength ‘7T’ magnetic resonance images (MRI) scanner to measure changes in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, PSP, or in good health. 7T refers to the strength of the magnetic field; most MRI scanners tend to be 3T or below. While most MRI scanners can show structures at the level of detail of a grain of rice, 7T scanners, which have ultra-strong magnetic fields, can provide resolution at the size of a grain of sand. The scanners allowed the team to examine the locus coeruleus, a noradrenaline-producing brain region, of their subjects and confirm that the greater the level of damage to this region, the more severe their symptoms of apathy and the worse they performed at cognitive tests. The findings offer the hope of new treatments for these symptoms, as the ultra-powerful 7T scanner may help researchers and clinicians to identify the patients who will probably benefit the most from noradrenaline boosting drugs.
Locus coeruleus integrity from 7 T MRI relates to apathy and cognition in Parkinsonian disorders
Rong Ye(1), Claire O'Callaghan(2)
Added on: 06-23-2022
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