Long-Term Vesicular Monoamine Transporter II Imaging and Clinical Assessment of Parkinson's Disease Progression

  • Lin, Kun-Ju (PI)
  • Hsiao, Ing-Tsung (CoPI)
  • Lu, Chin-Song (CoPI)
  • Weng, Yi-Hsin (CoPI)
  • Wey, Shiaw-Pyng (CoPI)
  • Yen, Tzue-Chen (CoPI)

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the elder population. The early diagnosis of PD is essential for reducing the social and economic impact for both patient and caregivers. Currently, the diagnosis of PD is still mainly relying on clinical observation. However, it is difficult to differentiate PD from other forms of movement disorders at early stage. It has been estimated that up to 30% of misdiagnosis rate may occur at the clinic. Due to recent advanced in the molecular imaging technology, we are able to non-invasively measure vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) in vivo using positron emission tomography (PET) and novel radioligand –18F-DTBZ. VMAT2 is located on the vesicular membrane and allows the packaging of terminal dopamine into synaptic vesicles. The VMAT2 availability is not subject to drug- or lesion-compensatory modulations. In addition, striatal VMAT2 density may represent the integrity of dopaminergic neurons. The phase I results demonstrate that 18F-DTBZ PET is safe and capable of differentiation PD from healthy subjects by measuring striatal VMAT2 density. Thus, it is feasible to monitor disease progression with this novel radioligand. In this project, we plan to measure the possible change of VMAT2 density in 40 PD subjects for three years. In addition, we will expand the safety database and determine the reliability of 18F-DTBZ PET scan. We will also investigate the correlation between the rate of VMAT2 reduction and baseline VMAT2 density or clinical symptoms.

Project IDs

Project ID:PC10007-1189
External Project ID:NSC100-2314-B182A-092-MY3
Effective start/end date01/08/1131/07/12


  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Vesicular monoamine transporter 2
  • Positron emission tomography


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