Modeling trajectories of regional volume loss in progressive supranuclear palsy

Mov Disord. 2013 Jul;28(8):1117-24. doi: 10.1002/mds.25437. Epub 2013 Apr 8.


Progressive supranuclear palsy is a neurodegenerative disease with progressive brain atrophy over time. It is unknown which specific brain regions decline over time, whether regional volume loss occurs in a linear fashion, and whether regional atrophy correlates with clinical decline over time in progressive supranuclear palsy. Twenty-eight subjects meeting probable progressive supranuclear palsy criteria were prospectively recruited and completed 96 MRI scans over 2 years. Mixed-effect models were utilized to determine which regions had significant atrophy over time and whether decline was linear or nonlinear. We assessed 13 regions across the brain, as well as whole-brain and ventricular volume. Regional trajectories were also correlated with change in clinical measures of executive function and gait and ocular motor impairment. A linear decline was observed in all frontal and temporal regions, the superior parietal lobe, the thalamus, the caudate nuclei, and the midbrain, as well as in the whole brain. Ventricular expansion was also linear. Nonlinear decline was observed for the caudal middle frontal lobe and globus pallidus. Rates of change in the superior frontal lobe, thalamus, and midbrain were beyond those expected in normal aging. Decline in frontal lobe volume and the midbrain area correlated best to decline in clinical measures. In progressive supranuclear palsy, atrophy is occurring in multiple brain regions, particularly in those that have previously been implicated in the disease. Decline is mainly linear but can be nonlinear for some regions. The frontal lobe and midbrain seem to be playing the most significant roles in the progressive worsening of clinical signs in progressive supranuclear palsy.

Keywords: PSP; longitudinal; midbrain; mixed-effects models; rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / pathology*
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / physiopathology
  • Time Factors