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Research Letter
July 5, 2016

Association Between Gadolinium Contrast Exposure and the Risk of Parkinsonism

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Western University, London, Canada
  • 2Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Western University, London, Canada
  • 4Department of Medical Imaging, Western University, London, Canada

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2016;316(1):96-98. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.8096

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.

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