Scientific publications

Functional neuroimaging in the diagnosis of patients with Parkinsonism: Update and recommendations for clinical use

Aug 1, 2014 | Magazine: Revista Española de Medicina Nuclear e Imagen Molecular

Arbizu J (1), Luquin MR (2), Abella J (3), de la Fuente-Fernández R (3), Fernandez-Torrón R (4), García-Solís D (5), Garrastachu P (6), Jiménez-Hoyuela JM (7), Llaneza M (3), Lomeña F (8), Lorenzo-Bosquet C (9), Martí MJ (10), Martinez-Castrillo JC (11), Mir P (12), Mitjavila M (13), Ruiz-Martínez J (14), Vela L (15).


Functional Neuroimaging has been traditionally used in research for patients with different Parkinsonian syndromes. However, the emergence of commercial radiotracers together with the availability of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and, more recently, positron emission tomography (PET) have made them available for clinical practice.

Particularly, the development of clinical evidence achieved by functional neuroimaging techniques over the past two decades have motivated a progressive inclusion of several biomarkers in the clinical diagnostic criteria for neurodegenerative diseases that occur with Parkinsonism.

However, the wide range of radiotracers designed to assess the involvement of different pathways in the neurodegenerative process underlying Parkinsonian syndromes (dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway integrity, basal ganglia and cortical neuronal activity, myocardial sympathetic innervation), and the different neuroimaging techniques currently available (scintigraphy, SPECT and PET), have generated some controversy concerning the best neuroimaging test that should be indicated for the differential diagnosis of Parkinsonism.

In this article, a panel of nuclear medicine and neurology experts has evaluated the functional neuroimaging techniques emphazising practical considerations related to the diagnosis of patients with uncertain origin parkinsonism and the assessment Parkinson's disease progression.

CITATION  Rev Esp Med Nucl Imagen Mol. 2014 Jul-Aug;33(4):215-26. doi: 10.1016/j.remn.2014.02.001. Epub 2014 Apr 14.