This symposium discusses the utility of the different MR techniques in the diagnosis and management of spinocerebellar degeneration (SCD). Conventional MRI is widely used and can show characteristic signal abnormalities such as putaminal hyperintensity, hyperintense putaminal rim, putaminal hypointensity, hot cross bun sign in the pontine base, and hyperintensity in the middle cerebellar peduncles strengthening a diagnosis of multiple system atrophy (MSA). However, the diagnostic utility of these signal abnormalities in early MSA remains restricted. In addition, it should be considered that different magnetic field strengths and sequences could be influenced on the findings resulting false negative. On the other hand, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and voxel based morphometry (VBM) in the pontine base, cerebellum, and putamen will be informative in the early diagnosis of MSA and other SCD prior to conventional MRI changes and even before any clinical manifestation of symptoms. Particularly, DWI, DTI, and VBM are expected to have potential as surrogate markers of disease progression. Further prospective and large studies including earlier disease stages will be needed to clarify whether these novel MR techniques will aid in the future sets of diagnostic criteria and therapeutic trials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology