Visual System Changes May Represent an Early Signal of Parkinson’s Disease


Changes in the intracranial visual system may be a signal of Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to new findings published in Radiology. Using MRI, researchers evaluated 21 patients with newly diagnosed PD and 20 age-matched controls to assess white matter changes. Results showed that those with PD had significant alterations in optic radiation connectivity distribution, with decreased lateral geniculate nucleus V2 density. These individuals also demonstrated a significant increase in optic mean radiation mean diffusivity as well as a significant reduction in white matter concentration, visual cortical volumes, and chiasmatic area and volume. “The findings show that visual system alterations can be detected in early stages of Parkinson disease and that the entire intracranial visual system can be involved,” the investigators wrote.


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