Brain MRI morphometric analysis in Parkinson's disease patients with sleep disturbances

Sleep disturbances are common in patients with advanced Parkinson disease (PD). The aim of this study was to evaluate a possible association of cortical thickness, cortical and subcortical volume with sleep disturbances in PD patients.

Twenty-eight PD patients (14 men and 14 women, median age 58 years) were evaluated for sleep disturbances with PDSS and underwent brain MRI. Control group consisted of 28 healthy volunteers who were matched by age and gender. Automated voxel based image analysis was performed with the FreeSurfer software.

PD patients when compared to controls had larger ventricles, smaller volumes of hippocampus and superior cerebellar peduncle, smaller grey matter thickness in the left fusiform, parahipocampal and precentral gyruses, and right caudal anterior cingulate, parahipocampal and precentral hemisphere gyruses, as well as smaller volume of left rostral middle frontal and frontal pole areas, and right entorhinal and transverse temporal areas. According to the Parkinson's disease Sleep Scale (PDSS), 15 (53.58%) patients had severely disturbed sleep. The most frequent complaints were difficulties staying asleep during the night and nocturia. The least frequent sleep disturbances were distressing hallucinations and urine incontinence due to off symptoms. Patients who fidgeted during the night had thicker white matter in the left caudal middle frontal area and lesser global left hemisphere cortical surface, especially in the lateral orbitofrontal and lateral occipital area, and right hemisphere medial orbitofrontal area. Patients with frequent distressful dreams had white matter reduction in cingulate area, and cortical surface reduction in left paracentral area, inferior frontal gyrus and right postcentral and superior frontal areas. Nocturnal hallucinations were associated with volume reduction in the basal ganglia, nucleus accumbens and putamen bilaterally. Patients with disturbing nocturia had reduction of cortical surface on the left pre- and postcentral areas, total white matter volume decrease bilaterally as well in the pons.

PD patients with nocturnal hallucinations had prominent basal ganglia volume reduction. Distressful dreams were associated with limbic system and frontal white matter changes, meanwhile nocturia was mostly associated with global white matter reduction and surface reduction of cortical surface on the left hemisphere pre- and postcentral areas.

BMC neurology. 2018 Jun 20*** epublish ***

Andrius Radziunas, Vytenis Pranas Deltuva, Arimantas Tamasauskas, Rymante Gleizniene, Aiste Pranckeviciene, Kestutis Petrikonis, Adomas Bunevicius

Neuroscience Institute, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania. ., Neuroscience Institute, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania., Department of Radiology at Kauno klinikos, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania., Department of Neurology, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania.