6 March 2020: Global Excellence Seminar with Nicola Pavese

  • 6 March 2020 |
  • Nicola Pavese |
  • MR Conference Room |
  • Time 9:15 |

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On Friday 6 March 2020, Nicola Pavese is giving a lecture entitled "Multimodal imaging approach in prodromal synucleinopathies".

Nicola Pavese is a Professor at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital. He is using special brain scanning methods to study the changes which appear in the brain of patients diagnosed with a neurogenerative disease, eg. Parkinsons disease. 


The identification of subjects in the prodromal phase of neurodegenerative conditions and the detection of biomarkers of the early pathological changes leading to manifest disease are currently a high priority in research.
Imaging  assessment of these patients could provide significant insight into the earliest pathological mechanisms of these diseases and provide the knowledge that is needed to develop therapeutic strategies to halt or delay disease progression in its earliest stages.
The lecture will summarise the findings of our multimodal imaging approach in patients at risk of developing Parkinson’s including patients with REM sleep behavior disorder and carriers of gene mutations related to Parkinsonism and explore lines for future collaboration between our centres.

Our main findings are: Using PET with 11C-PK11195, a ligand that binds to brain cells (activated microglia) involved in neuroinflammation, we have recently reported that iRBD patients have increased levels of neuroinflammation in brain areas typically involved in PD such as the substantia nigra and, to a lesser extent, the putamen and caudate nuclei, suggesting that neuroinflammation occurs in the early stages of the development of Parkinsonian syndromes [Stokholm et al., Lancet Neurology, 2017]. Activated microglia was also found in the visual associative cortex of the occipital lobe of these patients, the area of the brain where visual images are processed and elaborated [Stokholm et al. 2018, Neurobiol Disease]. The latter finding could explain the difficulties that iRBD patients seem to have in tests assessing visuospatial skills.
We have found evidence of nigrostriatal dopaminergic dysfunction and presence of neuroinflammation in the substantia nigra of asymptomatic carriers of mutations gene in the LRRK2 gene and in the GBA gene, once again suggesting that neuroinflammation is an early event in these conditions and could represent a potential therapeutic target [manuscript in preparation].
Finally, using 11C-Donepezil PET, a marker of brain cholinergic function, we have found that iRBD patients had cholinergic denervation in several cortical areas which could be important for the development of future cognitive impairment/dementia in these subjects.

The talk will be held on Friday 6 March 2020 at 9:15 in the MR Conference Room.