Where have we got to with neuroreceptor mapping of the human brain?

European Journal of Nuclear Medicine
B Mazière, M Mazière

Abstract

In the past two decades, tritiated radioligand receptor binding, a tool commonly used to investigate the site of action of drugs in laboratory animals, has provided a vast body of information on neuropharmacology and neurobiology. Several neurological and psychiatric diseases have been related to neurotransmitter and receptor disorders. In order to study ligand interactions with receptors in vivo in humans, new tracers capable of carrying a gamma-emitting radionuclide to the receptor have been designed. Emission computerized tomography (ECT) techniques such as positron (PET) or single photon emission tomography (SPET) allow monitoring of the time-course of regional tissue concentration of these radiolabelled ligands. PET and SPET each have their inherent advantages and drawbacks. The cyclotron-based technology of PET is a demanding and expensive technique that, to date, is still mainly reserved for research purposes. It is hoped that once the scientific basis of a physiopathological study is established using PET, diagnostic information might be provided by the more readily available SPET technology. The purpose of this article is to review the current state of receptor-binding gamma-emitting radioligands and to present the cli...Continue Reading

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