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Thirty Parkinson's disease (PD) patients were divided into three equal groups according to their disease duration while 10 normal healthy volunteers matched for age and sex served as a control group. Striatal and extrastriatal serotonergic function was studied with (11)C-DASB PET, a marker of serotonin transporter availability. (11)C-DASB binding was correlated with disease disability and exposure to dopaminergic therapy. We found significant (11)C-DASB binding reductions in striatal, brainstem, and cortical regions in PD but no correlations were evident between (11)C-DASB binding and UPDRS scores, Hoehn &Yahr staging, disease duration and level of exposure to dopaminergic therapy. Our results suggest that progressive non-linear serotonergic dysfunction occurs in PD but it does not determine levels of disability. Additionally, chronic exposure to dopaminergic therapy does not appear to influence SERT binding.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurobiol Dis

Publication Date





216 - 221


Adult, Aged, Benzylamines, Carbon Radioisotopes, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Parkinson Disease, Positron-Emission Tomography, Predictive Value of Tests, Sensitivity and Specificity, Serotonin, Severity of Illness Index