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J Vis Exp. 2013 Aug 6;(78). doi: 10.3791/50358.

Creating dynamic images of short-lived dopamine fluctuations with lp-ntPET: dopamine movies of cigarette smoking.

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  • 1Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University, USA. evan.morris@yale.edu

Abstract

We describe experimental and statistical steps for creating dopamine movies of the brain from dynamic PET data. The movies represent minute-to-minute fluctuations of dopamine induced by smoking a cigarette. The smoker is imaged during a natural smoking experience while other possible confounding effects (such as head motion, expectation, novelty, or aversion to smoking repeatedly) are minimized. We present the details of our unique analysis. Conventional methods for PET analysis estimate time-invariant kinetic model parameters which cannot capture short-term fluctuations in neurotransmitter release. Our analysis--yielding a dopamine movie--is based on our work with kinetic models and other decomposition techniques that allow for time-varying parameters. This aspect of the analysis--temporal-variation--is key to our work. Because our model is also linear in parameters, it is practical, computationally, to apply at the voxel level. The analysis technique is comprised of five main steps: pre-processing, modeling, statistical comparison, masking and visualization. Preprocessing is applied to the PET data with a unique 'HYPR' spatial filter that reduces spatial noise but preserves critical temporal information. Modeling identifies the time-varying function that best describes the dopamine effect on 11C-raclopride uptake. The statistical step compares the fit of our (lp-ntPET) model to a conventional model. Masking restricts treatment to those voxels best described by the new model. Visualization maps the dopamine function at each voxel to a color scale and produces a dopamine movie. Interim results and sample dopamine movies of cigarette smoking are presented.

PMID:
23963311
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4046621
Free PMC Article
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