Gait Control and Motor Performances in Normal Human and Patients with Parkinsondisease---An MRI Study

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


Gait disturbance is one of the cardinal symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), which might originate from the basal ganglia's internal cueing deficit for movement sequences, delaying onset and slowing the execution of all subcomponents. However, to study the role of the cortex in walking using MRI is limited because the subject was not able to walk while being scanned. Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent Functional MRI on gait control required several modifications. In this project, the cortical gait control and motor performance from normal human and patients with Parkinson Disease will be studied using MRI. A functional activation paradigm will be proposed, which consisted of a visual task of walking related imagery. Diffusion tensor imaging and arterial spin labeling techniques will be developed and optimized on a 3Tesla MR scanner. Region of Interest (ROI) analysis will be performed and compared with the result from statistical approach such as Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM). The indices extracted from the diffusion tensor provide information about the micro-structure and micro-environment of the tissue, which is related to the extent of the brain connectivity. Cerebral Blood Flow from perfusion measurement is an important physiological parameter which reflects both the extent of neuronal activation during the performance of cognitive tasks and the brain metabolism. In the first year, normal subjects from the local community will be recruited for a feasibility study. An optimized protocol for the imaging of functional studies and diffusion measurements will be developed on a 3T MR scanner. The Arterial Spin Labeling technique will be developed in collaboration with Dr. David Thomas and Pr. Roger Ordidge from the Wellcome Trust High Field Magnetic Resonance Research Laboratory in University College London, United Kingdom. In the second year, early-staged patients with Parkinson Disease will be admitted from the clinics in ChangGung Memorial Hospital. Patients will be scanned by MRI at both 『drug on』 and 『drug-off』 stage. Clinical assessment included a nuclear medicine examination, the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and Modified Hohen and Yahr staging, a video recording of the motor disability, particularly focusing on the performance of walking, a recording of t Berg balance Scale, and Timed up and Go test. Tractography using the result from DTI will be performed on patients. The studied will be compared with the finding from the BOLD based functional MRI and Perfusion imaging. In the third year, patients at advanced stage of Parkinson disease will be included in the study. This study will provide deep insight into the different stages of development in Parkinson Disease, which integrated comprehensive information from multiple contrasts in various MR images and the clinical assessments.

Project IDs

Project ID:PC9706-0965
External Project ID:NSC96-2321-B182-002-MY2
Effective start/end date01/08/0831/07/09


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