Imaging Neuroreceptors with Positron Emission Tomography: A New Strategy for Measuring Pharmacological Activity in the Treatment of Schizophrenia
Among the major problems which must be faced in the study of schizophrenia is the lack of an objective set of biological discriptors which can be used to define the syndrome and thus the response to treatment. The advent of positron emission tomography (PET) in the early 1970s offered a new opportunity to directly visualize aspects of cerebral function. PET is a medical imaging technique which measures the concentration of a positron emitting radioisotope in a volume element of tissue. When an appropriately radiolabeled ligand is used, PET provides functional images of the target tissue. Interpretation of these images in a meaningful way is dependent upon an understanding of the underlying biochemistry and physiology of the tissue and characterization of the binding of the radioligand. This involves a knowledge of the process to be traced and the kinetics of that process, since the tomograph only measures but does not attach biological significance to radioactive events.
KeywordsDopamine Schizophrenia Expense Acetylcholine Haloperidol
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