Dopamine denervation in the functional territories of the striatum: a new MR and atlas-based 123I-FP-CIT SPECT quantification method

J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2021 Dec;128(12):1841-1852. doi: 10.1007/s00702-021-02434-9. Epub 2021 Oct 27.


Current quantification methods of 123I-FP-CIT SPECT rely on anatomical parcellation of the striatum. We propose here to implement a new method based on MRI segmentation and functional atlas of the basal ganglia (MR-ATLAS) that could provide a reliable quantification within the sensorimotor, associative, and limbic territories of the striatum. Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavioral disorder (iRBD), and healthy controls underwent 123I-FP-CIT SPECT, MRI, motor, and cognitive assessments. SPECT data were corrected for partial volume effects and registered to a functional atlas of the striatum to allow quantification in every functional region of the striatum (nucleus accumbens, limbic, associative, and sensorimotor parts of the striatum). The MR-ATLAS quantification method is proved to be reliable in every territory of the striatum. In addition, good correlations were found between cognitive dysexecutive tests and the binding within the functional (limbic) territories of the striatum using the MR-ATLAS method, slightly better than correlations found using the anatomical quantification method. This new MR-ATLAS method provides a robust and useful tool for studying the dopaminergic system in PD, particularly with respect to cognitive functions. It may also be relevant to further unravel the relationship between dopaminergic denervation and cognitive or behavioral symptoms.

Keywords: 123I-FP-CIT SPECT; DATSCAN; Idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavioral disorder; Parkinson’s disease; Striatum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Corpus Striatum / diagnostic imaging
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Denervation
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins* / metabolism
  • Dopamine* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods
  • Tropanes


  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Tropanes
  • 2-carbomethoxy-8-(3-fluoropropyl)-3-(4-iodophenyl)tropane
  • Iodine-123
  • Dopamine