Expanding Frontiers of Neuroimaging: Dynamic Molecular Imaging
Lack of a sensitive method for detection of acute changes in neurotransmission has limited the scope of Neuroimaging research because neurotransmitters play an important role in regulation of cognitive and behavioral functions. We recently developed a technique to detect, map and measure dopamine released acutely during cognitive or behavioral processing. The technique is called Neurotransmitter imaging or Single scan dynamic molecular imaging technique (SDMIT). It exploits the competition between a neurotransmitter and its receptor ligand for occupancy of the same receptor site. In this technique after patients are positioned in the positron emission tomography (PET) camera, a radio-labeled neurotransmitter ligand is injected intravenously, and the PET data acquisition started. These data are used by a receptor kinetic model to detect, map and measure neurotransmitter released dynamically in different brain areas. Patients are asked to perform a cognitive task while in the scanner and the amount of neurotransmitter released in different brain areas measured. By comparing it with the data acquired in healthy volunteers during performance of a similar task, it is possible to determine whether a neurotransmitter release is dysregulated in the patients and whether the dysregulation is responsible for clinical symptoms. Since this technique measures neurotransmitter released under conditions of cognitive stress, it can detect changes at a very early stage, when dysregulation of is not expressed at rest but manifests under conditions of cognitive overload.
Published on: November 25, 2018
Citation: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Medical Imaging and Case Reports (MICR-2018). J Med Imaging Case Rep 2(Suppl 1): S1-S27.