Hyperechogenicity of the substantia nigra is a frequent observation on transcranial sonography in Parkinson's disease and Machado–Joseph disease patients. Additionally, restless legs syndrome is a sleep disorder that is also frequently found in both diseases. Autopsy studies have demonstrated increased SN iron content in hyperechogenic substantia nigra. Iron storage is also known to be involved in restless legs syndrome. We formally compared echogenicity of the substantia nigra with restless legs syndrome in Parkinson's disease and Machado–Joseph disease patients.
Transcranial brain sonography was performed in a sample of Parkinson's disease and Machado–Joseph disease patients, and findings then correlated with the presence and severity of restless legs syndrome.
There was a continuum of substantia nigra echogenicity among groups (Parkinson's disease versus Machado–Joseph disease versus controls) and sub-groups (Parkinson's disease with and without restless legs syndrome versus Machado–Joseph disease with and without restless legs syndrome) as well as a statistically significant negative correlation between restless legs syndrome severity and substantia nigra echogenicity (p<0.001).
These preliminary observations demonstrate that the severity of RLS may be influenced by nigral iron load reflected by substantia nigra echogenicity in different neurodegenerative movement disorders.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Journal of the Neurological Sciences
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Transcranial sonography in movement disorders.Lancet Neurol. 2008; 7: 1044-1055
- Transcranial sonography findings in spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (Machado–Joseph disease): a cross-sectional study.Neurosci Lett. 2011; 504: 98-101
- Transcranial brain sonography in Parkinson's disease with restless legs syndrome.Mov Disord. 2010; 30: 1373-1378
- Restless legs syndrome in Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system.Mov Disord. 2007; 22: S424-S430
- Sleep disorders in Machado–Joseph disease: frequency, discriminative thresholds, predictive values, and correlation with ataxia-related motor and non-motor features.Cerebellum. 2011; 10: 291-295
- Translation and validation into the Brazilian Portuguese of the restless legs syndrome rating scale of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study group.Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2008; 66: 832-836
- Transcranial brain parenchyma sonography in movement disorders: state of the art.Ultrasound Med Biol. 2007; 33: 15-25
- Augmentation in restless legs syndrome is associated with low ferritin.Sleep Med. 2008; 9: 572-574
- Transcranial ultrasound shows nigral hypoechogenicity in restless legs syndrome.Ann Neurol. 2005; 58: 630-634
- Sonographic abnormalities of brainstem structures in restless legs syndrome.Sleep Med. 2008; 9: 782-789
- Echogenicity of the substantia nigra: association with increased iron content and marker for susceptibility to nigrostriatal injury.Arch Neurol. 2002; 59: 999-1005
- Altered dopaminergic profile in the putamen and substantia nigra in restless leg syndrome.Brain. 2009; 132: 2403-2412
- Sonographic abnormalities in idiopathic restless legs syndrome (RLS) and RLS in Parkinson's disease.Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2011; 17: 201-203
Published online: May 28, 2012
Accepted: May 4, 2012
Received in revised form: May 4, 2012
Received: February 22, 2012
© 2012 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.