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'Tell-tail' MRI image diagnosis for Parkinson's disease
Date:4/29/2014

into standard clinical practice.

Using high resolution, ultra high filed 7T magnetic resonance imaging the Nottingham research team has already pinpointed the characteristic pathology of Parkinson's with structural change in a small area of the mid brain known as the substantia nigra. The latest study has shown that these changes can also be detected using 3T MRI technology which is accessible in hospitals across the country. They subsequently coined the phrase the 'swallow tail appearance' as an easy recognizable sign of the healthy appearing substantia nigra which is lost in Parkinson's disease. A total of 114 high-resolution scans were reviewed and in 94 per cent of cases the diagnosis was accurately made using this technique.

New findings give new hope

Dr Schwarz said: "This is a breakthrough finding as currently Parkinson's disease is mostly diagnosed by identifying symptoms like stiffness and tremor. Imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis are limited to expensive nuclear medical techniques which are not widely available and associated with potentially harmful ionizing radiation.

"Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (no ionizing radiation involved and much cheaper than nuclear medical techniques) we identified a specific imaging feature which has great similarity to a tail of a swallow and therefore decided to call it the 'swallow tail sign'. This sign is absent in Parkinson's disease."


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Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert  

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'Tell-tail' MRI image diagnosis for Parkinson's disease
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