The Open Neurology Journal

ISSN: 1874-205X ― Volume 13, 2019

Cerebral and Extracranial Neurodegeneration are Strongly Coupled in Parkinson’s Disease Alternate Title: Cerebral and Extracranial Neurodegeneration

Jörg Spiegel*, 1, Dirk Hellwig2, Wolfgang H Jost3, Georgios Farmakis2, Samuel Samnick2, Klaus Fassbender1, Carl M Kirsch2, Ulrich Dillmann1
1 Departments of Neurology Saarland University, D-66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany
2 Departments of Nuclear Medicine, Saarland University, D-66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany
3 Department of Neurology, Deutsche Klinik fur Diagnostik, D-65191 Wiesbaden, Germany


In idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD), a generalized Lewy body type-degeneration in the brain as well as extracranial organs was identified. It is unclear, whether cerebral and extracranial Lewy body type-degeneration in PD are coupled or not. To address this question, cerebral [123I]FP-CIT SPECT – to quantify cerebral nigrostriatal dopaminergic degeneration – and myocardial [123I]MIBG scintigraphy – to quantify extracranial myocardial sympathetic degeneration – were performed in 95 PD patients and 20 healthy controls. At each Hoehn and Yahr stage separately, myocardial MIBG uptake correlated significantly with striatal FP-CIT uptake. No such correlation was found in the controls. Cerebral and extracranial Lewy body type-degeneration in PD do not develop independently from each other but develop in a strongly coupled manner. Obviously cerebral and extracranial changes are driven by at least similar pathomechanisms. Our findings in controls contradict a physiological correlation between nigrostriatal dopaminergic and myocardial sympathetic function.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, FP-CIT SPECT, MIBG scintigraphy.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2007
Volume: 1
First Page: 1
Last Page: 4
Publisher Id: TONEUJ-1-1
DOI: 10.2174/1874205X00701010001

Article History:

Received Date: 22/7/2007
Revision Received Date: 3/8/2007
Acceptance Date: 6/8/2007
Electronic publication date: 22/8/2007
Collection year: 2007

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© 2007 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Neurology Saarland University, D-66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany; E-mail:


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