Drug-induced parkinsonism (DIP) is caused by a dopamine receptor blockade and is a major cause of misleading diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Striatal dopamine activity has been investigated widely in DIP; however, most studies with dopamine transporter imaging have focused on the clinical characteristics and prognosis. This study investigated differences in striatal subregional monoamine availability among patients with DIP, normal controls, and patients with early PD. Thirty-five DIP patients, the same number of age-matched PD patients, and 46 healthy controls were selected for this study. Parkinsonian motor status was examined. Brain magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography with 18F-N-(3-fluoropropyl)-2beta-carbon ethoxy-3beta-(4-iodophenyl) nortropane were performed, and the regional standardized uptake values were analyzed with a volume-of-interest template and compared among the groups. The groups were evenly matched for age, but there were numerically more females in the DIP group. Parkinsonian motor symptoms were similar in the DIP and PD groups. Monoamine availability in the thalamus of the DIP group was lower than that of the normal controls and similar to that of the PD group. In other subregions (putamen, globus pallidus, and ventral striatum), monoamine availability in the DIP group and normal controls did not differ and was higher than that in the PD group. This difference compared to healthy subject suggests that low monoamine availability in the thalamus could be an imaging biomarker of DIP.
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