Blinded positron emission tomography study of dopamine cell implantation for Parkinson's disease
Article first published online: 16 MAY 2001
Copyright © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Annals of Neurology
Volume 50, Issue 2, pages 181–187, August 2001
How to Cite
Nakamura, T., Dhawan, V., Chaly, T., Fukuda, M., Ma, Y., Breeze, R., Greene, P., Fahn, S., Freed, C. and Eidelberg, D. (2001), Blinded positron emission tomography study of dopamine cell implantation for Parkinson's disease. Ann Neurol., 50: 181–187. doi: 10.1002/ana.1075
- Issue published online: 30 JUL 2001
- Article first published online: 16 MAY 2001
- Manuscript Revised: 27 MAR 2001
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 MAR 2001
- Manuscript Received: 6 DEC 2000
- NIH. Grant Numbers: RO1 NS 32368, RO1 NS 35069
We assessed nigrostriatal dopaminergic function in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients undergoing a double-blind, placebo-controlled surgical trial of embryonic dopamine cell implantation. Forty PD patients underwent positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with [18F]fluorodopa (FDOPA) prior to randomization to transplantation or placebo surgery. The 39 surviving patients were rescanned 1 year following surgery. Images were quantified by investigators blinded to treatment status and clinical outcome. Following unblinding, we determined the effects of treatment status and age on the interval changes in FDOPA/PET signal. Blinded observers detected a significant increase in FDOPA uptake in the putamen of the group receiving implants compared to the placebo surgery patients (40.3%). Increases in putamen FDOPA uptake were similar in both younger (age ≤60 years) and older (age >60 years) transplant recipients. Significant decrements in putamen uptake were evident in younger placebo-operated patients (–6.5% ) but not in their older counterparts. Correlations between the PET changes and clinical outcome were significant only in the younger patient subgroup (r = 0.58). The findings suggest that patient age does not influence graft viability or development in the first postoperative year. However, host age may influence the time course of the downstream functional changes that are needed for clinical benefit to occur.