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Author Notes:

Fuhua Yan, Department of Radiology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, No.197 Ruijin Er Road, Shanghai, 200025, China. anfuhua@yahoo.com. Shengdi Chen, Department of Neurology and Institute of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China. chen_sd@medmail.com.cn.

The authors acknowledge Dr. Qian Sun and Dr. Binying Li for sharing part of their clinical database for evaluation for this study.

The authors wish to thank all patients and healthy control subjects who participated in this study.

All authors declare no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

The study was supported in part through State Key Clinical Department of Medical Imaging, National Natural Science Fund (81430022, 81371407), and SHSMU-ION Research Center for Brain Disorders.

CL is supported in part by the National Institutes of Health through grants NIMH R01MH096979 and NINDS R01NS079653, and by the National Natural Science Foundation of China through grant 81428013.

XH and JL are supported in part by the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJF 10854).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging
  • Spectroscopy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • tremor-dominant phenotype
  • akinetic rigidity-dominant phenotype
  • quantitative susceptibility mapping
  • iron deposition
  • MRI

Dentate nucleus iron deposition is a potential biomarker for tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease

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Journal Title:

NMR in Biomedicine


Volume 30, Number 4


, Pages e3554-e3554

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder with variable clinicopathologic phenotypes and underlying neuropathologic mechanisms. Each clinical phenotype has a unique set of motor symptoms. Tremor is the most frequent initial motor symptom of PD and is the most difficult symptom to treat. The dentate nucleus (DN) is a deep iron-rich nucleus in the cerebellum and may be involved in PD tremor. In this study, we test the hypothesis that DN iron may be elevated in tremor-dominant PD patients using quantitative susceptibility mapping. Forty-three patients with PD [19 tremor dominant (TD)/24 akinetic rigidity (AR) dominant] and 48 healthy gender- and age-matched controls were recruited. Multi-echo gradient echo data were collected for each subject on a 3.0-T MR system. Inter-group susceptibility differences in the bilateral DN were investigated and correlations of clinical features with susceptibility were also examined. In contrast with the AR-dominant group, the TD group was found to have increased susceptibility in the bilateral DN when compared with healthy controls. In addition, susceptibility was positively correlated with tremor score in drug-naive PD patients. These findings indicate that iron load within the DN may make an important contribution to motor phenotypes in PD. Moreover, our results suggest that TD and AR-dominant phenotypes of PD can be differentiated on the basis of the susceptibility of the DN, at least at the group level.

Copyright information:

© 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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