Date of this Version
Published in Neuroscience 305 (2015), pp 109–116.
The clinical differential diagnosis between the Parkinson variant of multiple system atrophy (MSA-P) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) is difficult in early stages. To identify objective markers for differential diagnosis, we combined the novel tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and region of interest (ROI) analyses for the first time to investigate three groups (15 MSA-P, 20 PD patients and 20 controls) with diffusion tensor imaging data. By TBSS, we performed pairwise comparisons of fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity maps. The clusters with significant differences between MSA-P and PD were used as ROIs for further analyses. FA/RD values in bilateral corticospinal tract (CST) and left anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) in MSA-P were significantly different from PD or controls, and significantly correlated with clinical data. These findings indicated that the abnormalities of left ATR and bilateral CST were specific for MSA-P relative to PD or controls, and seemed to be promising for differential diagnosis. Furthermore, it may be useful for severity assessment of MSA-P.