Microstructural changes in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy: A diffusion tensor imaging study

Jiun Jie Wang, Yau Yau Wai, Wey Yil Lin, Shu Hang Ng, Chi Hong Wang, Ren Hsiang Hsieh, Chung Huang Hsieh, Rou Shayn Chen, Chin Song Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

46 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine whether progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is associated with specific diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) patterns of diffusivity, anisotropy, and coherence in functionally relevant brain areas. Materials and Methods: In all, 17 PSP patients and 17 controls were scanned using a 3 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Patients were assessed in the off-medication condition using the Hoehn and Yahr staging and the United Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, motor subscale (UPDRS-III). Diffusion information were analyzed in relation to disease severity and subtypes. Results: Numerous changes in diffusion properties were identified in the subcortical areas. In the midbrain, fractional anisotropy (FA) decreased and MD (mean diffusivity) increased with disease progression. UPDRS-III scores correlated positively with both FA in the caudate and MD in the pons. DTI analysis of disease subtypes demonstrated significant differences between PSP-Parkinsonism and Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome in axial diffusivity values in the putamen and globus pallidus, as well as in intervoxel diffusion coherence values in themiddle cerebellar peduncle. Conclusion: Our findings, cautiously interpreted, demonstrate the advantage of using a functional imaging technique to aid in the specificity of defining more precisely the pathological processes taking place in white and gray matter regions in PSP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 07 2010


  • Basal ganglia
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy


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