Dopaminergic Therapy Modulates Cortical Perfusion in Parkinson Disease With and Without Dementia According to Arterial Spin Labeled Perfusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Arterial spin labeling (ASL) magnetic resonance imaging analyses allow for the quantification of altered cerebral blood flow, and provide a novel means of examining the impact of dopaminergic treatments. The authors examined the cerebral perfusion differences among 17 Parkinson disease (PD) patients, 17 PD with dementia (PDD) patients, and 17 healthy controls and used ASL-MRI to assess the effects of dopaminergic therapies on perfusion in the patients. The authors demonstrated progressive widespread cortical hypoperfusion in PD and PDD and robust effects for the dopaminergic therapies. Specifically, dopaminergic medications further decreased frontal lobe and cerebellum perfusion in the PD and PDD groups, respectively. These patterns of hypoperfusion could be related to cognitive dysfunctions and disease severity. Furthermore, desensitization to dopaminergic therapies in terms of cortical perfusion was found as the disease progressed, supporting the concept that long-term therapies are associated with the therapeutic window narrowing. The highly sensitive pharmaceutical response of ASL allows clinicians and researchers to easily and effectively quantify the absolute perfusion status, which might prove helpful for therapeutic planning.

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