Early detection and monitoring of Parkinson’s are key to ending the disease. Since the disease significantly affects their visual processing, recent studies now look into understanding their visual systems through Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scans. The Radiological Society of North America publicized a research that has important implications for Parkinson’s current research endeavors.
In the study, 20 newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients underwent MRI testing and ophthalmologic examinations four weeks following their diagnosis. Their results were also compared with 20 other patients who were considered the ‘healthy controls’. Dr. Allessandro Arrigo and his team of experts analyzed the changes in the gray and white matter of patients’ brains. Results show abnormalities in the visual brain structures of Parkinson’s patients. They found altered optic radiations, reduced white matter, and reduced volume in patient’s optic chiasm, and the latter is where the right and left optic nerves meet.