Subcortical grey matter changes in untreated, early stage Parkinson's disease without dementia

Hye Mi Lee, Kyum Yil Kwon, Min Jik Kim, Ji Wan Jang, Sang il Suh, Seong Beom Koh, Ji Hyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous MRI studies have investigated cortical or subcortical grey matter changes in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), yielding inconsistent findings between the studies. We therefore sought to determine whether focal cortical or subcortical grey matter changes may be present from the early disease stage. Methods: We recruited 49 untreated, early stage PD patients without dementia and 53 control subjects. Voxel-based morphometry was used to evaluate cortical grey matter changes, and automated volumetry and shape analysis were used to assess volume changes and shape deformation of the subcortical grey matter structures, respectively. Results: Voxel-based morphometry showed neither reductions nor increases in grey matter volume in patients compared to controls. Compared to controls, PD patients had significant reductions in adjusted volumes of putamen, nucleus accumbens, and hippocampus (corrected p < 0.05). Vertex-based shape analysis showed regionally contracted area on the posterolateral and ventromedial putamen bilaterally in PD patients (corrected p < 0.05). No correlations were found between cortical and subcortical grey matter and clinical variables representing disease duration and severity. Conclusions: Our results suggest that untreated, early stage PD without dementia is associated with volume reduction and shape deformation of subcortical grey matter, but not with cortical grey matter reduction. Our findings of structural changes in the posterolateral putamen and ventromedial putamen/nucleus accumbens could provide neuroanatomical basis for the involvement of motor and limbic striatum, further implicating motor and non-motor symptoms in PD, respectively. Early hippocampal involvement might be related to the risk for developing dementia in PD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-626
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Republic of Korea ( 20100027994 for SBK, 2012007757 for JHK).


  • Parkinson's disease
  • Regional volumetry
  • Shape analysis
  • Subcortical grey matter
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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