Dopamine Receptors and Dopamine Uptake Sites in TS: Post-Mortem Autoradiographic Studies in Human Brain

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
University of Utah
Investigators Name
Filloux, Francis, MD

I intend to study the receptors for dopamine — a major brain chemical — in post mortem Tourette Syndrome brain tissue. Currently, neuropathology is one of the only methods available (the other being “PET” and “SPECT” scanning) for actually studying the neurochemistry of TS. There is considerable evidence that TS may be due to a disturbance of brain neurochemicals, specifically dopamine. In fact, some researchers have postulated that dopamine receptors in TS may be excessively sensitive. The scientific community is grateful to TSA for its campaign to encourage families to register in TSA’s Brain Bank Program. Every opportunity to use those brains for effective and efficient research is being made. The method we will use employs radioactively-tagged drugs which attach to brain receptors in minutely thin slices of brain tissue. From these slices, a “photograph” of the density and location of receptors can be produced. If dopamine receptors are in fact abnormal or “over-sensitive” in TS, these photographs should be able to demonstrate that abnormality. It is hoped that an investigation of this type can begin to clarify whether neurochemical theories seeking to explain TS are in fact correct. The better our understanding of the neurochemistry of TS, the more likely we are to witness the development of increasingly effective treatments. Francis M. Filloux, MD. University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT Award $5,964 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 1990