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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2008 Mar;28(3):441-4. Epub 2007 Dec 12.

Spared caudal brainstem SERT binding in early Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Ann Arbor VA, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


Postmortem data indicate loss of serotoninergic neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). We used the serotonin transporter (SERT) radioligand 3-amino-4-(2-dimethylaminomethyl-phenylsulfaryl)-benzonitril (DASB) and positron emission tomography to examine SERT distribution and changes in early PD subjects. We studied five PD subjects (H&Y 1 to 2.5) and eight normal controls. There is reduced SERT binding in PD. The magnitude of DASB binding reductions was greater in the forebrain than in the brainstem regions. There was no asymmetry of diminished SERT binding. DASB binding in the medulla was relatively spared, inconsistent with the description of early prominent pathologic study in these caudal brainstem nuclei.

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