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Gadolinium-based contrast agents are used for enhancement during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Safety concerns have emerged over retained gadolinium in the globus pallidi.1,2 Neurotoxic effects have been seen in animals and when gadolinium is given intrathecally in humans.1 In July 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration stated that it was unknown whether gadolinium deposits were harmful. The substantia nigra (affected in Parkinson disease) directs voluntary movement via signals to the globus pallidi. Consequences of damage to the globus pallidi may include parkinsonian symptoms.3 We conducted a population-based study to assess the association between gadolinium exposure and parkinsonism.
Welk B, McArthur E, Morrow SA, MacDonald P, Hayward J, Leung A, Lum A. Association Between Gadolinium Contrast Exposure and the Risk of Parkinsonism. JAMA. 2016;316(1):96-98. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.8096