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MDS 2022 | MRI biomarkers of freezing of gait development in Parkinson’s disease

Elisabetta Sarasso, PT, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy, discusses a longitudinal study that investigated clinical, structural, and functional brain alterations in Parkinson’s disease patients with freezing of gait (PD-FoG) and those developing (PD-FoG-converters) and not developing FoG (PD-non-converters) over two years. Participants underwent clinical and MRI visits. Cortical thickness, basal ganglia volumes, and functional network graph metrics were evaluated at baseline and over time. Although PD-FoG-converters and PD-non-converters showed similar clinical features at baseline, they already showed different postural instability and gait disorders (PIGD) scores. At baseline, PD-FoG-converters showed more severe dyskinesias, higher global and parietal clustering coefficient and global local efficiency. These results suggest that altered functional graph metrics of the parietal lobe, with dyskinesia and high PIGD score, could be markers of freezing of gait development in PD patients. This interview took place at the 2022 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Madrid, Spain.

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