Positron emission tomography neuroimaging in Parkinson's disease.
Loane C., Politis M.
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear imaging technique, which allows in vivo estimations of important physiological parameters such as, glucose metabolism and neuroreceptor binding enabling greater understanding of the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). The review will evaluate the role of PET in assessing both the dopaminergic (DA) and non-DA systems in relation to the pathophysiology of PD, differential diagnosis, progression of disease and pre-clinical disease. Medication side effects, genetic forms of PD, the non-motor symptoms of PD and alternative restorative approaches will also be discussed in relation to how PET imaging can enhance our understanding of these aspects of the disease. PET neuroimaging has to date, provided an excellent tool to assess the underlying mechanisms of the disease as well as evaluating the complications and management of PD and has the potential to be of great clinical value if the current limitations of costing and availability are resolved.