International Psychogeriatrics

Review Article

Dopaminergic imaging: clinical utility now and in the future

Zuzana Walkera1 c1 and Joanne Roddaa2

a1 University College London and North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Mental Health Unit, St Margaret's Hospital, Epping, Essex, UK

a2 Research Department of Mental Health Sciences, University College London, London, UK

ABSTRACT

Over the past ten years, dopaminergic imaging has become increasingly part of the assessment and diagnosis of dementia. There are numerous PET and SPECT ligands available that target different steps in the process of neurotransmission. Abnormalities in dopaminergic imaging measures are consistent features of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and other parkinsonian syndromes, and can be used to facilitate diagnosis, particularly in distinguishing between DLB and Alzheimer's disease. This review summarizes present knowledge in this area and the implications for current and future clinical practice.

(Online publication August 15 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Zuzana Walker, MD, FRCPsych, University College London and North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Mental Health Unit, St Margaret's Hospital, The Plain, Epping, Essex, CM16 6TN, UK. Phone: +44 1279-827-893; Fax: +44 1992-571-089. Email: z.walker@ucl.ac.uk.