Mapping microstructural gradients of the human striatum in normal aging and Parkinson’s disease

Elior Drori*, Shai Berman, Aviv A. Mezer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Mapping structural spatial change (i.e., gradients) in the striatum is essential for understanding the function of the basal ganglia in both health and disease. We developed a method to identify and quantify gradients of microstructure in the single human brain in vivo. We found spatial gradients in the putamen and caudate nucleus of the striatum that were robust across individuals, clinical conditions, and datasets. By exploiting multiparametric quantitative MRI, we found distinct, spatially dependent, aging-related alterations in water content and iron concentration. Furthermore, we found cortico-striatal microstructural covariation, showing relations between striatal structural gradients and cortical hierarchy. In Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients, we found abnormal gradients in the putamen, revealing changes in the posterior putamen that explain patients’ dopaminergic loss and motor dysfunction. Our work provides a noninvasive approach for studying the spatially varying, structure-function relationship in the striatum in vivo, in normal aging and PD.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbereabm1971
JournalScience advances
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 2022

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