Relation of short-latency afferent inhibition to the cholinergic system in Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease Acetylcholine Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

I.E.C. Sommer
S. van der Zee
E. d'Angremont

Nature of the research:
Observational study

Fields of study:
neurology psychiatry

Background / introduction
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a complex neurodegenerative disorder, involving multiple neurotransmitter systems, including the cholinergic system. It has been shown that degeneration of the cholinergic system in PD is related to both motor and non-motor symptoms, including cognitive impairment, REM-sleep behavioural disorder, visual hallucinations, hyposmia, postural instability and gait disorder. Several methods exist for imaging of the cholinergic system in vivo, although they are not routinely performed in clinical practice due to their cost, limited availability and radiation burden for the patient. Short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI), which can be assessed using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), might be a relatively cheap and non-invasive alternative for fast in vivo assessment of the cholinergic system.
Research question / problem definition
What is the accuracy of SAI as a reflection of cholinergic innervation in Parkinson’s disease, as measured with [18F]FEOBV PET?
Parkinson's disease patients and healthy controls are included to undergo TMS, PET, MRI, neuropsychological assessment and several other clinical tests.
During this internship you will be able to assist with inclusion, guiding participants and performing several tests, including TMS.
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