PET and the Multitracer Concept: An Approach to Neuroimaging Pathology

by Engler, Henry

Abstract (Summary)
Patients suffering from different forms of neurodegenerative diseases, such as: Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease (CJD), Alzheimer disease (AD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), frontotemporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease (PD) were examined with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and the combination of different radiotracers: 15O-water, N-[11C-methyl]-L-deuterodeprenyl (DED), [18F] 2-fluorodeoxyglucose: (FDG), N-methyl-[11C]2-(4-methylaminophenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole (PIB) and L-[11C]-3,4-dihydroxiphenyl-alanine (DOPA). The radiotracers and the combinations of different radiotracers were selected with the intention to detect, in the brain, patterns of neuronal dysfunction, astrocytosis, axon degeneration or protein aggregation (amyloid), in the brain which are pathognomonic for specific diseases and may contribute to improve clinical differential diagnoses. Examinations in healthy volunteers were performed to allow comparisons with patients. In addition, animal studies were conducted to complement the information. In some cases, the PET findings could be compared with the results of autopsies.In contrast to the micropathology, in which only a limited part of a tissue (obtained post-mortem or by biopsy) is inspected, one PET acquisition provides an image of the whole system (e.g.: the brain and the cerebellum). This form of imaging pathology is “in vivo”, where the examination is innocuous for the patient. This thesis is an attempt to stimulate the development of new tracers, new tracer combinations and methods that directly or indirectly describe the anatomo-physiopathological changes produced in the brain in neurodegenerative diseases. A better description of different diseases can be obtained, confirming or questioning the clinical diagnoses and widening our understanding of the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. Different pathologies can produce similar symptoms and thus causing confusion regarding clinical diagnosis. The used PET combinations improved the accuracy of the diagnoses. The incipient knowledge emerging from a new neuroimaging pathology in combination with other disciplines may open the way to new classifications of dementias and neurodegenerative diseases based on an “in vivo” pathology.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Uppsala universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:Neurosciences; PET (Positron Emission Tomography); multitracer; neuroimaging pathology; astrocytes; microglia; neurodegeneration; amyloid; AD; CJD; PD; Neurovetenskap


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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