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Sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal dysfunction are associated with thalamic atrophy in Parkinson’s disease

Authors
  • Niccolini, Flavia1
  • Wilson, Heather1
  • Giordano, Beniamino1
  • Diamantopoulos, Konstantinos1
  • Pagano, Gennaro1
  • Chaudhuri, Kallol Ray2
  • Politis, Marios1
  • 1 Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London, Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 2 King’s College London and Kings College Hospital, National Parkinson Foundation International Centre of Excellence, Department of Basic & Clinical Neuroscience, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
BMC Neuroscience
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Oct 22, 2019
Volume
20
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s12868-019-0537-1
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

BackgroundNon-motor symptoms are common aspects of Parkinson’s disease (PD) occurring even at the prodromal stage of the disease and greatly affecting the quality of life. Here, we investigated whether non-motor symptoms burden was associated with cortical thickness and subcortical nuclei volume in PD patients.MethodsWe studied 41 non-demented PD patients. Non-motor symptoms burden was assessed using the Non-Motor Symptoms Scale grading (NMSS). Cortical thickness and subcortical nuclei volume analyses were carried out using Free-Surfer. PD patients were divided into two groups according to the NMSS grading: mild to moderate (NMSS: 0–40) and severe (NMSS: ≥ 41) non-motor symptoms.ResultsThalamic atrophy was associated with higher NMSQ and NMSS total scores. The non-motor symptoms that drove this correlation were sleep/fatigue and gastrointestinal tract dysfunction. We also found that PD patients with severe non-motor symptoms had significant thalamic atrophy compared to the group with mild to moderate non-motor symptoms.ConclusionsOur findings show that greater non-motor symptom burden is associated with thalamic atrophy in PD. Thalamus plays an important role in processing sensory information including visceral afferent from the gastrointestinal tract and in regulating states of sleep and wakefulness.

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