The earlier descriptions of Parkinson's disease (PD) were limited to its motor manifestations: tremor, rigidity and flexed posture. Years later, a cytoplasmatic inclusion was discovered, the Lewy bodies (LB), the mais pathological feature of the disease. The neostriatal dopamine deficiency in PD was only noted later. PD is defined by progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal system and other neural networks caused by progressive loss of neuromelanin in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and many other subcortical nuclei associated with the deposition of Lewi's bodies. In 2002, based on some neuropathological findings Braak elegantly suggested that as the disease progresses, the accumulation of intracerebral LB, begins in the lower medulla and progresses in an ascending fashion towards the autonomic, somatomotor and limbic systems. Most previous studies using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in patients with PD have made comparisons between patients with or without pre-determined symptoms, such as psychosis, dementia, or even tremor. Hence, it is justified to perform a larger study to make correlations between the clinical course and morphological changes in PD. The aim of this study is to compare patients with PD to a control group and evaluate the morphometric differences using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). All patients will be evaluated through a review of its history, complete neurological examination and application of validated scales for patients with PD. A voxel-based morphometry (VBM) is a global analysis of the brain and elucidates focal differences in different brain regions, using the statistical approach of the statistical parametric mapping. Correlations between the clinical course and morphological changes have not been definitively validated. The use of imaging techniques allows the study of changes in vivo and can confirm the findings previously suggested.
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