Lateral geniculate atrophy in Parkinson's with visual hallucination: A trans-synaptic degeneration
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Mov Disord. 2016 Apr;31(4):547-54. doi: 10.1002/mds.26533. Epub 2016 Feb 5.
Lateral geniculate atrophy in Parkinson's with visual hallucination: A trans-synaptic degeneration?
Lee JY1,2, Yoon EJ3, Lee WW4, Kim YK3,2, Lee JY5,2, Jeon B6,2.
Defective visual information processing contributes to visual hallucination in PD, for which "top-down" and "bottom-up" impairment are suggested mechanisms. This study was aimed to investigate macro- and microstructural neural changes in afferent visual pathways in relation to visual hallucination in nondemented PD patients.
This study included 24 nondemented, nondepressed PD patients (10 hallucinating and 14 nonhallucinating) and 15 age-matched healthy controls. We analyzed volumetric and diffusion tensor MRI data by applying region of interest analyses on the visual pathways, including the optic chiasm, bilateral optic nerves, lateral geniculate bodies, optic radiations, and primary visual cortex.
Patients' demographic characteristics, daily medication doses, as well as duration and motor severity of PD were similar in the two PD groups. Compared to PD patients without hallucination, those with hallucination had fractional anisotropy decrease in the left optic nerve and showed atrophy of lateral geniculate bodies, especially in the left side. In addition, the PD with hallucination group had diffusivity increase in the left optic radiation compared to that in the PD without hallucination and healthy control groups. There were no differences in the primary visual cortex volume among the study groups.
We found microstructural alterations in visual pathways in nondemented PD patients with hallucination, mainly in first-order neurons and atrophy in the lateral geniculate body where the retinal ganglion cells synapse to second-order neurons. Afferent visual pathway degeneration may occur in a trans-synaptic way in PD. Further studies warrant to be conducted.
© 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
Parkinson's disease; diffusion tensor analysis; visual hallucination; visual pathway; volumetric analysis