Parkinsonism & related disorders

Olfactory function combined with morphology distinguishes Parkinson's disease.

PMID 25986741


This study aimed to examine whether the volume of the olfactory bulbs and tracts (OB & T) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful for differentiating Parkinson's disease (PD) from PD-related disorders. The study group comprised 13 patients with PD, 11 with multiple system atrophy (MSA), five with progressive supranuclear palsy, and five with corticobasal degeneration (PSP/CBD). All patients were evaluated using the odor stick identification test for Japanese (OSIT-J), (123)I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy, and brain MRI. OB & T areas on 1-mm-thick coronal images were measured and summed for volumes. We examined relationships between olfactory function and volume, and cardiovascular dysautonomia. We defined the cut-off values for OSIT-J score or MIBG uptake and OB & T volume to discriminate PD from PD-related disorders and calculated the proportional rate of PD in four categorized groups. OB & T volume was smaller in PD than in MSA or PSP/CBD (p < 0.05 each). The cut-off for detecting PD patients was OSIT-J score <8, heart/mediastinum ratio <1.6, and OB & T volume <270 mm(3). In the group with OSIT-J score <8 and OB & T volume <270 mm(3), the proportion of PD patients among all patients with PD-related disorders was 91%. The rate of probable PD gradually increased as OSIT-J score and OB & T volume decreased (p < 0.001). Although preliminary, these data obtained from a combined morphological and functional evaluation of OB or cardiovascular dysautonomia could be useful for further differential of PD and other PD-related disorders.

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