Innovative Molecular Imaging for Clinical Research, Therapeutic Stratification, and Nosography in Neuroscience

  • Recherche,
  • Santé-Sciences-Technologie,
  • Santé-social,

le 28 janvier 2020

Published in Front. Med.

Projet de recherche collaborative dirigé par le Prof. P. Payoux (CHRU Toulouse, ToNIC, Toulouse NeuroImaging Center, Inserm U1214, Toulouse, France) auquel le Prof. M.J. Ribeiro et le Dr. N. Arlicot ont participé

Innovative Molecular Imaging for Clinical Research, Therapeutic Stratification, and Nosography in Neuroscience


Over the past few decades, several radiotracers have been developed for neuroimaging applications, especially in PET. Because of their low steric hindrance, PET radionuclides can be used to label molecules that are small enough to cross the blood brain barrier, without modifying their biological properties. As the use of 11C is limited by its short physical half-life (20 min), there has been an increasing focus on developing tracers labeled with 18F for clinical use. The first such tracers allowed cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism to be measured, and the development of molecular imaging has since enabled to focus more closely on specific targets such as receptors, neurotransmitter transporters, and other proteins. Hence, PET and SPECT biomarkers have become indispensable for innovative clinical research. Currently, the treatment options for a number of pathologies, notably neurodegenerative diseases, remain only supportive and symptomatic. Treatments that slow down or reverse disease progression are therefore the subject of numerous studies, in which molecular imaging is proving to be a powerful tool. PET and SPECT biomarkers already make it possible to diagnose several neurological diseases in vivo and at preclinical stages, yielding topographic, and quantitative data about the target. As a result, they can be used for assessing patients' eligibility for new treatments, or for treatment follow-up. The aim of the present review was to map major innovative radiotracers used in neuroscience, and explain their contribution to clinical research. We categorized them according to their target: dopaminergic, cholinergic or serotoninergic systems, β-amyloid plaques, tau protein, neuroinflammation, glutamate or GABA receptors, or α-synuclein. Most neurological disorders, and indeed mental disorders, involve the dysfunction of one or more of these targets. Combinations of molecular imaging biomarkers can afford us a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease development over time, and contribute to early detection/screening, diagnosis, therapy delivery/monitoring, and treatment follow-up in both research and clinical settings.

Copyright © 2019 Beaurain, Salabert, Ribeiro, Arlicot, Damier, Le Jeune, Demonet and Payoux.


#PET #SPECT #clinical #research #molecular #imaging #neurology #psychiatry

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