Brain morphometry and the neurobiology of levodopa-induced dyskinesias: current knowledge and future potential for translational pre-clinical neuroimaging studies

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19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dopamine replacement therapy in the form of levodopa results in a significant proportion of patients with Parkinson's disease developing debilitating dyskinesia. This significantly complicates further treatment and negatively impacts patient quality of life. A greater understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) is therefore crucial to develop new treatments to prevent or mitigate LID. Such investigations in humans are largely confined to assessment of neurochemical and cerebrovascular blood flow changes using positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. However, recent evidence suggests that LID is associated with specific morphological changes in the frontal cortex and midbrain, detectable by structural MRI and voxel-based morphometry. Current human neuroimaging methods however lack sufficient resolution to reveal the biological mechanism driving these morphological changes at the cellular level. In contrast, there is a wealth of literature from well-established rodent models of LID documenting detailed post-mortem cellular and molecular measurements. The combination therefore of advanced neuroimaging methods and rodent LID models offers an exciting opportunity to bridge these currently disparate areas of research. To highlight this opportunity, in this mini-review, we provide an overview of the current clinical evidence for morphological changes in the brain associated with LID and identify potential cellular mechanisms as suggested from human and animal studies. We then suggest a framework for combining small animal MRI imaging with rodent models of LID, which may provide important mechanistic insights into the neurobiology of LID.
Original languageEnglish
Article number95
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2014

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