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Imaging the Functional Brain-Heart Axis: Neurodegenerative Diseases

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Autonomic Innervation of the Heart

Abstract

In recent years, it has been clinically and neuropathologically revealed that some neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and pure autonomic failure (PAF) are overlapping diseases: Lewy body diseases (LBD) has thus become a general term for these diseases. In fact, Lewy bodies are pathologically observed in the nervous system of these neurodegenerative diseases. Since LBD may present sympathetic impairment, several studies have evaluated the role of myocardial sympathetic imaging in these diseases. LBD usually present an abnormal myocardial sympathetic imaging using iodine-123-metaiodobenzylguanidine ([123I]-MIBG) scintigraphy, and this technique may be very useful in differential diagnosis between PD and other parkinsonisms such as in differential diagnosis between DLB and other dementias. PET tracers are also available to study myocardial sympathetic denervation and may help to quantify cardiac autonomic dysfunction in LBD.

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Abbreviations

AADC:

Aromatic amino acid decarboxylase

CBD:

Corticobasal degeneration

DAT:

Dopamine transporter

DLB:

Dementia with Lewy bodies

FNE:

Fluoronorepinephrine

FP-CIT:

[123I]-N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropan

IBZM:

[123I]-(S)-2-hydroxy-3-iodo-6-methoxy-N-[1-ethyl-2-pyrrodinyl)-methyl]benzamide

LBD:

Lewy body diseases

MSA:

Multiple system atrophy

PAF:

Pure autonomic failure

PD:

Parkinson’s disease

PET:

Positron emission tomography

PSP:

Progressive supranuclear palsy

SPECT:

Single-photon emission computed tomography

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Correspondence to Giorgio Treglia MD .

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Treglia, G., Stefanelli, A., Carrio, I. (2015). Imaging the Functional Brain-Heart Axis: Neurodegenerative Diseases. In: Slart, R., Tio, R., Elsinga, P., Schwaiger, M. (eds) Autonomic Innervation of the Heart. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-45074-1_21

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