Positron emission tomography imaging in multiple sclerosis–current status and future applications
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2010
© 2010 The Author(s). European Journal of Neurology © 2010 EFNS
European Journal of Neurology
Volume 18, Issue 2, pages 226–231, February 2011
How to Cite
Kiferle, L., Politis, M., Muraro, P. A. and Piccini, P. (2011), Positron emission tomography imaging in multiple sclerosis–current status and future applications. European Journal of Neurology, 18: 226–231. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2010.03154.x
- Issue published online: 17 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 15 JUL 2010
- Received 29 March 2010 Accepted 14 June 2010
- gray matter;
- multiple sclerosis;
Background: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is traditionally considered as a central nervous system (CNS) white matter inflammatory disease. However, recent studies have focused on the neurodegenerative aspects of the disease, which occur early in the pathological process, providing an opportunity for therapeutic intervention and application of neuroprotective strategies. The relationship between neural inflammation and cell death remains controversial. The recent development of new radiolabelled ligands provides positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with a role for studying early aspects of the MS pathology.
Methods: We provide an overview of current PET research in MS, particularly focussing on possible applications of new radioligands for studying inflammation and neurodegenerative processes.
Results: Pathological aspects of neuroinflammation, axonal degeneration and neuronal repair may be explored in vivo with selective PET tracers. Specific radioligands for the cannabinoid system may be applied in MS research to understand the role of this neurotransmitter system in the pathogenesis of the disease.
Conclusions: PET imaging represents a promising tool for elucidating controversial aspects of MS pathology and for the assessment of selective and potentially neuroprotective therapies.