PET Plays Critical Role in Supporting Parkinson's Disease Research

Reston, Va.—A large-scale study conducted to measure the effectiveness of dopamine cell transplantation in Parkinson’s disease patients shows significant improvements in motor skills and brain function, according to research reported in the January issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM). The results of this study demonstrate that transplanted cells were viable and integrated well with the host brain tissue. Furthermore, these cells produced dopamine that helped support the brain and led to an improvement in motor symptoms. These improvements were sustained over a four-year study period.

“This study provided new insights into the time course of transplantation outcome,” said David Eidelberg, M.D., study co-author and director of the Neuroscience Center at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y. “Comprehensive long-term clinical follow-up, together with molecular imaging, allows for a more realistic appraisal of this kind of intervention for Parkinson’s disease.”

Researchers reported long-term clinical and imaging outcomes after transplantation from 33 patients who originally participated in a one-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of embryonic dopaminergic cell implantation for Parkinson’s disease. Clinical improvement in motor ratings, as well as increased brain uptake of 18F-fluorodopa (18F-FDOPA)—the radiotracer that is widely used to investigate the function of dopamine grafts—was evident at one, two and four years after the transplantation surgery.

source: SNM

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