White matter hyperintensities as a predictor of freezing of gait in Parkinson's disease

Seok Jong Chung, Yang Hyun Lee, Han Soo Yoo, Jungsu S. Oh, Jae Seung Kim, Byoung Seok Ye, Young H. Sohn, Phil Hyu Lee

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: To investigate the effect of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on long-term motor outcomes in Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods: We retrospectively reviewed medical records of 268 patients with de novo PD (follow-up > 3 years). According to the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) WMH visual rating scale scores, the patients were divided into two groups: a PD group with minimal WMH (PD-WMH-; n = 198) and a PD group with moderate to severe WMH (PD-WMH+; n = 70). We compared longitudinal increases in doses of dopaminergic medications between the two groups using a mixed model. We also assessed the effects of WMH on the development of freezing of gait (FOG). Results: Patients in the PD-WMH + group were older than those in the PD-WMH- group, and had more severe motor deficits and more severely decreased striatal dopamine transporter availability. The PD-WMH + group required higher doses of dopaminergic medications for symptom control, compared to the PD-WMH- group, over the follow-up period. After adjusting for age, sex, striatal dopamine transporter availability, and levodopa-equivalent dose, the PD-WMH + group showed a higher risk of developing FOG (HR, 3.29; 95% CI, 1.79–6.05; p < 0.001) than the PD-WMH- group. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that WMH burden negatively affects the longitudinal requirement of dopaminergic medication and the development of FOG. These findings suggest that baseline WMH severity or volume may be a useful prognostic marker of motor outcomes in PD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (Dr. Phil Hyu Lee received NRF-2016R1A2A2A05920131 ) and the Ministry of Education (Dr. Seok Jong Chung received NRF-2018R1D1A1B07048959 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology

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