Neurological Sciences

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 311–317 | Cite as

Lack of association between dopamine transporter loss and non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease: a detailed PET analysis of 12 striatal subregions

  • Soo Bin Park
  • Kyum-Yil KwonEmail author
  • Jeong-Yoon Lee
  • Kayeong Im
  • Jun-Sang Sunwoo
  • Kyung Bok Lee
  • Hakjae Roh
  • Moo-Young Ahn
  • Suyeon Park
  • Soo-Jong Kim
  • Jungsu S. Oh
  • Jae Seung Kim
Original Article



Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) present a variety of non-motor symptoms. However, it remains unclear whether dopamine depletion is related to non-motor symptoms, and which non-motor symptoms are significantly dependent on dopaminergic deficit.


Forty-one patients with PD who underwent positron emission tomography imaging of dopamine transporters (DATs) were recruited for this study. The striatum was divided into 12 subregions, and DAT activity, as striatal dopaminergic concentration, was calculated in each subregion. In addition to measuring motor symptoms using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale-part III (UPDRS-III), various non-motor symptoms were assessed using the Montreal cognitive assessment, frontal assessment battery, Beck depression inventory (BDI), Beck anxiety inventory, PD sleep scale (PDSS), PD fatigue scale, and non-motor symptoms scale (NMSS) for PD.


For simple linear regression analyses, dopaminergic depletion in all striatal subregions was negatively correlated with the UPDRS-III score. The most relevant non-motor symptom assessment related to dopaminergic loss in the 12 subregions was NMSS, followed by BDI and PDSS. However, following multiple linear regression analyses, dopaminergic depletion in the 12 striatal subregions was not related with any of the non-motor symptoms. Conversely, dopaminergic deficit in the right anterior and posterior putamen was associated with the UPDRS-III score.


Striatal dopaminergic depletion was not significantly correlated with any of the various non-motor symptoms in PD. Our findings suggest that non-dopaminergic systems are significantly implicated in the pathogenesis of non-motor symptoms in patients with PD.


18F-FP-CIT PET Dopamine depletion Dopamine transporter imaging Non-motor symptom Parkinson’s disease 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Soonchunhyang University Research Fund and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Republic of Korea (No. NRF-2018R1C1B5045312).

Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10072_2018_3632_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soo Bin Park
    • 1
  • Kyum-Yil Kwon
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jeong-Yoon Lee
    • 2
  • Kayeong Im
    • 2
  • Jun-Sang Sunwoo
    • 2
  • Kyung Bok Lee
    • 2
  • Hakjae Roh
    • 2
  • Moo-Young Ahn
    • 2
  • Suyeon Park
    • 3
  • Soo-Jong Kim
    • 4
  • Jungsu S. Oh
    • 4
  • Jae Seung Kim
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Soonchunhyang University Seoul HospitalSoonchunhyang University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, Soonchunhyang University Seoul HospitalSoonchunhyang University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics, Soonchunhyang University HospitalSoonchunhyang University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea

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