Measuring the rate of progression of Parkinson's disease over a 5-year period with beta-CIT SPECT

Mov Disord. 2003 Nov;18(11):1266-72. doi: 10.1002/mds.10531.


Recent imaging studies suggest a rapid degeneration of the dopaminergic system in early Parkinson's disease (PD), followed by a slowing of the degenerative process in advanced disease. In the present study, a group of early-stage PD patients underwent three sequential [123I]beta-CIT SPECT studies to assess the decline of striatal dopamine transporter binding over a 5-year period. Twenty-one of a cohort of 24 early PD patients who participated in an earlier longitudinal beta-CIT SPECT imaging study [Mov Disord 2002;17:45-53] were included. Scan intervals were 26 +/- 11 months (scan 1-2) and 38 +/- 15 months (scan 2-3), respectively. The relative annual rate of decline of striatal beta-CIT binding from age-expected normal values at the time of Scan 1 was used as primary outcome variable. The relative annual decline of striatal binding from Scan 1 to Scan 2 (4.5 +/- 4.6%) and from Scan 2 to Scan 3 (3.0 +/- 3.0%) was not significantly different. The non-significant difference in progression rate was due mainly to the rapid early decline of striatal binding in 1 patient who subsequently developed a severe dysexecutive dementia syndrome. These data are not suggestive of substantial change in the course of dopaminergic degeneration in PD within the first 5 to 7 years after symptom onset.

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Cocaine* / analogs & derivatives
  • Cocaine* / pharmacokinetics
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Corpus Striatum / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*


  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • 2beta-carbomethoxy-3beta-(4-iodophenyl)tropane
  • Cocaine