Neurotransmitter Reuptake Site Binding Studies

Drugs that bind to and inhibit the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) have been shown to be associated with symptomatic recovery from depression in a large number of patients (Nemeroff 2007). Radioligands that show high specificity for binding to SERT, such as [11C] 3-amino-4-(2-dimethylaminomethyl-phenylsulfanyl)-benzonitrile (11C DASB), have been used to study the site occupancy levels of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and how these values correlate with clinical efficacy (Meyer 2007). These methods have led to reformulation of clinical algorithms in the management of depressive disorders. Suicide remains a serious risk among all psychiatric patients, and the role of SERT in the expression of suicide has been studied using PET ligands (Purselle and Nemeroff 2003). Dopamine transporter (DAT) ligands have also been used to study cognitive and motor dysfunction in Parkinson's disease (Cropley et al. 2006; Ravina et al. 2005), and the same methods are currently being applied to investigate conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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