J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 76:1448-1451 doi:10.1136/jnnp.2004.058685
  • Short report

Longitudinal change in 99mTcHMPAO cerebral perfusion SPECT in Parkinson’s disease over one year

  1. M J Firbank1,
  2. S Molloy2,
  3. I G McKeith1,
  4. D J Burn2,
  5. J T O’Brien1
  1. 1The Institute for Ageing and Health, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2Department of Neurology, Regional Neurosciences Centre, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Michael Firbank
 Institute for Ageing and Health, Wolfson Research Centre, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 6BE, UK;
  • Received 12 November 2004
  • Accepted 15 February 2005
  • Revised 11 February 2005


Background: Brain perfusion deficits have been reported previously in subjects with Parkinson’s disease in comparison with healthy controls.

Objective: To carry out a longitudinal study of perfusion in patients with Parkinson’s disease and controls to find areas showing a reduction in perfusion over one year.

Methods: Two HMPAO cerebral perfusion scans were acquired one year apart in 30 subjects with Parkinson’s disease (mean (SD) age, 76 (5) years) and 34 healthy comparison subjects (76 (7) years). Scans were normalised to the mean intensity in the cerebellum.

Results: Using SPM99 within groups to investigate regions that showed a decrease in perfusion between scans, it was found that in Parkinson’s disease subjects but not controls there was a significant cluster in the frontal lobe (Brodmann area 10) where perfusion decreased over the year.

Conclusions: The progressive frontal perfusion deficits in Parkinson’s disease are consistent with results from previous structural and neuropsychological studies suggesting frontal lobe involvement and executive dysfunction even in early Parkinson’s disease.


  • Competing interests: none declared

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