No Increased Risk of Parkinson’s From MRI Gadolinium Exposure Interview with:

Blayne Welk, MD, MSc,FRCSC Assistant Professor of Surgery Western University London, Canada

Dr. Blayne Welk

Blayne Welk, MD, MSc,FRCSC
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Western University
London, Canada What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Prior research has demonstrated that gadolinium, which may be used during MRI scans to help visualise the body organs, can be deposited in the body, and remain there for years. The US FDA released a notice last year stating that further research was needed to evaluate the clinical implications of these brain deposits. One of the areas that gadolinium is deposited is the brain, specifically in two regions which control voluntary movement (the globus pallidus and dentate nucleus). Damage to these areas could cause symptoms of Parkinsonism. We used administrative data from Ontario, Canada to evaluate whether people who underwent MRI scans with gadolinium had a higher risk of developing Parkinsonism in the future. In this study, we did not demonstrate an increased risk of Parkinsonism in patients exposed to gadolinium. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This study provides some reassurance that brain deposits of gadolinium do not lead to a hypothetically relevant clinical condition (in this case Parkinsonism). Other symptoms that have been described by a small number of patients such as muscle weakness, pain and tingling may require further study. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further research into the effects of gadolinium in younger patients, and those with underlying neurological diseases may be warranted. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Welk B, McArthur E, Morrow SA, et al. Association Between Gadolinium Contrast Exposure and the Risk of Parkinsonism.JAMA. 2016;316(1):96-98. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.8096.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on July 6, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD