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Neurology. 2003 Jun 10;60(11):1817-9.

Alteration of the striatal dopaminergic system in human narcolepsy.

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Departments of Neurology, University of Munich, Germany.


Striatal D2/D3 dopaminergic receptors have been proposed to play a role in cataplexy. The authors studied the striatal presynaptic dopamine transporter and postsynaptic D2-receptors in seven patients with narcolepsy and seven control subjects using [123I](N)-(3-iodopropene-2-yl)-2beta-carbomethoxy-3beta-(4-chlorophenyl)tropane and [123I](S)-2-hydroxy-3-iodo-6-methoxy-([1-ethyl-2-pyrrolidinyl]methyl)benzamide SPECT. D2-receptor binding was elevated in narcolepsy (p = 0.017) and correlated with the frequency of cataplectic and sleep attacks (R > or = 0.844, p < or = 0.017). The human striatal dopaminergic system is altered in vivo in narcolepsy/cataplexy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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