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Visual Hallucinations in Parkinson's Disease

A Multi-Modal MRI Investigation



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Visual Hallucinations in Parkinson's Disease by Nailin Yao
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This dissertation, "Visual Hallucinations in Parkinson's Disease: a Multi-modal MRI Investigation" by Nailin, Yao, 姚乃琳, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: Background Visual hallucinations (VH) are an important non-motor complication of Parkinson's disease (PD) which carries a negative prognosis, but their biological basis is unclear. Multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to evaluate structural and functional brain mechanisms underpinning VH in PD. Methods To assess cerebral microstructure and resting functional activities in patients with idiopathic PD and VH, I compared PD patients with VH (PDVH) and PD patients without VH (PDnonVH), while healthy controls (HC) were also recruited for comparison. Diffusion tensor imaging was used to calculate mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA). Structural MRI was used to calculate voxel-based intensity of grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) across the entire brain and compared among groups. Furthermore, functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, acquired during rest, was processed to calculate the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) and functional connectivity (FC) to inform a model of VH. In addition, hippocampal volume, shape, mean diffusivity and FC across the whole brain was further examined. Hippocampal dependent visual spatial memory performance was compared between groups, and predicted correlations with hippocampal microstructural indices and VH severity were tested. Results In the first study, PDVH had lower FA than both PDnonVH and HC in the right occipital lobe and left parietal lobe, but increased FA in the right infero-medial fronto-occipital fasciculus and posterior inferior longitudinal fasciculus. Moreover, PDVH patients showed less GM volume compared to PDnonVH in the right lingual gyrus of the occipital lobe. In the second study, PDVH patients compared to non-hallucinators showed lower ALFF in occipital lobes, with greater ALFF in temporo-parietal region, limbic lobe and right cerebellum. The PDVH group also showed alteration in functional connectivity between occipital region and corticostriatal regions. Finally in the third study, although there were no gross hippocampal volume and shape differences across groups, individuals with PDVH had higher diffusivity in hippocampus than PDnonVH and HC. Both PD groups had significantly poorer visuospatial memory compared to HC. Poorer visuospatial memory was correlated with higher hippocampal diffusivity in HC and more severe VH in the PDVH group.FC between hippocampus and primary visual cortex, dorsal/ventral visual pathways was also lower in PDVH than other groups, whereas FC between hippocampus and default mode network regions was greater in PDVH group compared to others. Conclusion Compared to PDnonVH groups, the PDVH group had multiple structural deficits in primary and associative visual cortices. In term of hemodynamic activity, the PDVH group had lower ALFF in occipital lobe, but greater ALFF in regions that comprise the dorsal visual pathway. Moreover, this lower ALFF in the primary visual cortex was accompanied by lower functional connectivity across components of the ventral/dorsal visual pathway in the PDVH group compared to the PDnonVH group. Moreover, evidence supporting a specific role for the hippocampus in PDVH was obtained. In the absence of gross macrostructural anomalies, hippocampal microstructure and functional connectivity was compromised in PDVH. I observed an association between visuospatial memory an
Release date NZ
January 26th, 2017
Created by
Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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