Development of a Dual Tracer PET Method for Imaging Dopaminergic Neuromodulation

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Book Chapter

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The modulatory neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) is involved in movement and reward behaviors, and malfunctions in the dopamine system are implicated in a variety of prevalent and debilitating pathologies including Parkinson's disease, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction. Positron emission tomography (PET) has been used to separately measure changes in DA receptor occupancy and blood flow in response to various interventions. Here we describe a dual tracer PET method to simultaneously measure both responses with the aim of comparing DA release in particular areas of the brain and associated alterations in neural activity throughout the brain. Significant correlations between reductions in DA receptor occupancy and blood flow alterations would be potential signs of dopaminergic modulation, i.e. modifications in signal processing due to increased levels of extracellular DA. Methodological development has begun with rats undergoing an amphetamine challenge while being scanned with the blood flow tracer [ 17 F]fluoromethane and the dopamine D2 receptor tracer [ 18 F]desmethoxyfallypride.

Publication Title

Astroparticle, Particle and Space Physics, Detectors and Medical Physics Applications, Proceedings of the 9th Conference : Villa Olmo, Como, Italy, 17-21 October 2005

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