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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Jun;991:22-35.

PET studies on the function of dopamine in health and Parkinson's disease.

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MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK.


Positron emission tomography (PET) can detect the presence of striatal, pallidal, midbrain, and cortical dopamine terminal dysfunction in vivo in Parkinson's disease (PD). In addition, dopamine release during motor tasks can be assessed as reflected by changes in receptor availability to PET ligands. Furthermore, the functional effects of focal dopamine replacement via implantation of fetal cells or glia-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) infusion into putamen can be monitored. In this review, the insight that PET has given us concerning the role of dopamine in motor control is presented, and the functional substrates underlying PD symptomatologies are discussed.

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