Parkinson's disease (PD) is marked pathologically by nigrostriatal dopaminergic terminal loss. Histopathological and invivo labeling studies demonstrate that this loss occurs most extensively in the caudal putamen and caudate head. Previous structural studies have suggested reduced striatal volume and atrophy of the caudate head in PD subjects. The spatial distribution of atrophy in the putamen, however, has not been characterized. We aimed to delineate the specific locations of atrophy in both of these striatal structures. T1- and T2-weighted brain MR (3T) images were obtained from 40 PD and 40 control subjects having no dementia and similar age and gender distributions. Shape analysis was performed using doubly segmented regions of interest. Compared to controls, PD subjects had lower putamen (p=0.0003) and caudate (p= 0.0003) volumes. Surface contraction magnitudes were greatest on the caudal putamen (p ≤ 0.005) and head and dorsal body of the caudate (p ≤ 0.005). This spatial distribution of striatal atrophy is consistent with the known pattern of dopamine depletion in PD and may reflect global consequences of known cellular remodeling phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2510-2516
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Striatal shape in Parkinson's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this