A number of neuropathological studies have demonstrated that the olfactory system is among the first brain regions affected in Parkinson's disease (PD). These findings correlate with pathophysiological and pathological data that show a loss in olfactory bulb (OB) volume in patients with PD. However, to date, MRI has not been a reliable method for the in vivo detection of this volumetric loss in PD. Using a 3.0-Tesla MRI constructive interference in the steady-state sequence, OB volume was evaluated in patients with PD (n = 16) and healthy control subjects (n = 16). A significant loss of OB volume was observed in patients with PD, compared to the healthy control group (91.2 ± 15.72 versus 131.4 ± 24.56 mm(3) , respectively). Specifically, decreased height of the left OB appears to be a reliable parameter that is adaptable to clinical practice and significantly correlates with OB volume loss in patients with idiopathic PD. Measuring both the volume and height of the OB by MRI may be a valuable method for the clinical investigation of PD.
Copyright © 2012 Movement Disorder Society.