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Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2012 Nov;39(11):1778-83. doi: 10.1007/s00259-012-2207-8. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Voxel-based analysis of whole-brain effects of age and gender on dopamine transporter SPECT imaging in healthy subjects.

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  • 1APHM, Hôpital de la Timone, Service de Neurologie et Pathologie du Mouvement, Marseille, France.



Several studies have shown age- and gender-related differences in striatal dopamine transporter (DaT) binding. These studies were based on a striatal region on interest approach that may have underestimated these effects and could not evaluate extrastriatal regions. Our aim was to determine the effects at the voxel level of age and gender on whole-brain DaT distribution using [(123)I]FP-CIT SPECT in healthy subjects.


We performed a whole-brain [(123)I]FP-CIT SPECT voxel-based analysis using SPM8 and a standardized normalization template (p < 0.05, corrected using the false discovery rate method) in 51 healthy subjects aged from 21 to 79 years.


We found an age-related DaT binding decrease in the striatum, anterior cingulate/medial frontal cortices and insulo-opercular cortices. Also DaT binding ratios were higher in women than men in the striatum and opercular cortices.


This study showed both striatal and extrastriatal age-related and gender-related differences in DaT binding in healthy subjects using a whole-brain voxel-based non-a priori approach. These differences highlight the need for careful age and gender matching in DaT analyses of neuropsychiatric disorders.

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