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Medical Physics Seminar – Monday, November 15, 2010

ntPET: PET Analysis Methods for Tracking Temporal (Phasic) Fluctuations in Neurotransmitter Levels

Evan D. Morris, Ph.D., (guest of Dr. Brad Christian)
Associate Professor, Diagnostic Radiology, Psychiatry, Biomedical Engineering, Co-Director of Imaging Section, Yale PET Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA

PET imaging with receptor ligands (e.g., [11C]raclopride) have been used routinely to detect average (tonic) changes in neurotransmitter (e.g., dopamine) levels in response to pharmacological or cognitive stimuli. But conventional analysis of PET data via change in binding potential retains no information regarding the timing of the change. That is, large but short-lived changes in dopamine levels (as would be expected after iv cocaine) may be indistinguishable from moderate but gradual, and long-lived changes (as would be expected with oral methylphenidate). Recently, we have pioneered a suite of analysis tools (models, data-based methods, etc) to extract stimulus-induced temporal patterns of neurotransmitter change contained within dynamic PET data. We have performed preliminary validations of these methods in humans and in animals. These studies have lead to a new type of image data that can be best visualized as parametric maps of time-of-peak-dopamine or as ‘dopamine movies’. The methods will be introduced and the validations presented.

Location: 1345 (HSLC) Health Sciences Learning Center, 750 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705

Time: 4:00pm-5:00pm

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