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In vivo imaging of microglial activation with [11C](R)-PK11195 PET in progressive supranuclear palsy

Authors

  • Alexander Gerhard MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. MRC Clinical Sciences Centre and Division of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
    • MRC Cyclotron Building, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, United Kingdom
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  • Iris Trender-Gerhard MD,

    1. MRC Clinical Sciences Centre and Division of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
    2. National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, London, United Kingdom
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  • Federico Turkheimer PhD,

    1. MRC Clinical Sciences Centre and Division of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
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  • Niall P. Quinn MD,

    1. National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, London, United Kingdom
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  • Kailash P. Bhatia MD,

    1. National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, London, United Kingdom
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  • David J. Brooks MD

    1. MRC Clinical Sciences Centre and Division of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a neurodegenerative disease presenting with voluntary gaze difficulties, early falls, and Parkinsonism. Neuronal loss, associated with intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and activated microglia, is found targeting the basal ganglia, brainstem nuclei, and frontal cortex. [11C](R)-PK11195 PET is a marker of peripheral benzodiazepine binding sites (PBBS) expressed by activated microglia. We have used [11C](R)-PK11195 PET to demonstrate in vivo the degree and distribution of the glial response to the degenerative process in four patients with PSP. Compared to normal age-matched controls, the PSP patient group showed significantly increased mean [11C](R)-PK11195 binding in the basal ganglia, midbrain, the frontal lobe, and the cerebellum. Two of the patients were rescanned after 6 to 10 months and during that time the level of microglial activation remained stable. [11C](R)-PK11195 PET reveals a pattern of increased microglial activation in PSP patients involving cortical and subcortical regions that corresponds well with the known distribution of neuropathological changes. [11C](R)-PK11195 PET, therefore, may help in characterizing in vivo the underlying disease activity in PSP. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society

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