Neurobiology of Aging
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We investigated whole-brain atrophy and ventricular enlargement over 18 months in nondemented Parkinson's disease (PD) and examined their associations with clinical measures and baseline CSF markers. PD subjects (n = 100) were classified at baseline into those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI; PD-MCI, n = 36) and no cognitive impairment (PD-NC, n = 64). Percentage of whole-brain volume change (PBVC) and ventricular expansion over 18 months were assessed with FSL-SIENA and ventricular enlargement (VIENA) respectively. PD-MCI showed increased global atrophy (−1.1% ± 0.8%) and ventricular enlargement (6.9 % ± 5.2%) compared with both PD-NC (PBVC: −0.4 ± 0.5, p < 0.01; VIENA: 2.1% ± 4.3%, p < 0.01) and healthy controls. In a subset of 35 PD subjects, CSF levels of tau, and Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio were correlated with PBVC and ventricular enlargement respectively. The sample size required to demonstrate a 20% reduction in PBVC and VIENA was approximately 1/15th of that required to detect equivalent changes in cognitive decline. These findings suggest that longitudinal MRI measurements have potential to serve as surrogate markers to complement clinical assessments for future disease-modifying trials in PD.