Étudiant-chercheur étoile January 2015

Alexandru Hanganu

Alexandru Hanganu

Postdoctoral fellow in Neurology
Université de Montréal

Award winning publication: Mild cognitive impairment is linked with faster rate of cortical thinning in patients with Parkinson's disease longitudinally

Published in: Brain, 127:1120-9


"Our study describes the evolution of gray matter changes over time in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease with and without mild cognitive impairment. The results are the very first in vivo findings to indicate much more significant gray matter neurodegeneration in patients with mild cognitive impairment as compared to those without in the same stages of the illness. Our research—the first longitudinal study to confirm the occurrence of structural changes in the brain—describes a direct correlation between cerebral atrophy and cognitive decline. In addition, the results showed that, in the case of Parkinson's disease, cognitive impairment is not only caused by the degeneration of the frontal lobe and dorsal striatum (as suggested in earlier studies) but is also directly linked to morphological changes in other areas of the temporal and occipital lobes and ventral striatum."

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, affecting up to 2% of people 65 years of age and almost 10% of people over 80. Alexandru Hanganu's research revealed patterns that could be used as markers to predict the onset of dementia in Parkinson's patients.