A study published in the journal The Lancet Neurology shows for the first time that positron emission tomographic scans (PET), a medical imaging technique, can help detecting neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson in patients with REM sleep behaviour disorders who do not show common symptoms of the disease. This is occurs because this technique allows the observation of the inflammation and the lack of dopamine in the substantia nigra, the area in the brain which causes Parkison when damaged.
The study results from the collaboration between a team of Hospital Clínic de Barcelona-IDIBAPS-UB and the Aarhus University Hospital (Denmark). The coordinators of the study in Barcelona are Àlex Iranzo, adjunct lecturer at the Department of Medicine of the UB, neurologist at the Sleep Disorder Unit of Hospital Clínic and researcher at IDIBAPS, and Eduard Tolosa, emeritus professor of the mentioned Department, emeritus researcher in IDIBAPS and member of the Biomedical Research Networking Center on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED).
Stokholm, M. G.; Iranzo, A.; Østergaard, K.; Serradell, M.; Otto, M.; Svendsen, K. B.; Garrido, A.; Vilas, D.; Borghammer, P.; Santamaria, J.; Møller, A.; Gaig, C.; Brooks, D. J.; Tolosa, E.; Pavese, N. “Assessment of neuroinflammation in patients with idiopathic rapid-eye-movement sleep behaviour disorder: a case-control study”. The Lancet Neurology, July 2017. Doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(17)30173-4