Abstract and Keywords
This chapter describes the application of positron emission tomography (PET) technology to study neurotransmitter systems. The process of developing radiotracers to study the neurotransmitter systems, namely radioligands and the technical aspects of utilizing these radiotracers in PET imaging, is discussed. Normal distribution of neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin, opioids, and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), as well as abnormalities of these systems in various neurological and psychiatric disorders, are highlighted. The chapter provides evidence that radioligand imaging has been useful not only in delineating pathophysiological processes in psychiatric disorders, but also in contributing to the diagnosis, prognosis, and disease course, and in assessing drug effects. Recent advances in receptor imaging that are rapidly gaining clinical relevance are also discussed.
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