Dopamine Uptake Site Binding: A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Study with [11C]WIN 35,428

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Investigators Name
Wong, Dean, MD, PhD

Although Tourette Syndrome was first described in the medical literature almost 170 years ago, little is known about the underlying biological abnormality. Based on patients’ responses to medications, analyses of cerebrospinal fluid, and studies on a limited number of postmortem brain samples, it has been hypothesized that TS is associated with an imbalance of chemicals (neurotransmitters) within the brain. In a recent study of postmortem brain tissue from patients with TS, we have identified a specific abnormality within the dopamine system – an increased number of striatal presynaptic dopamine carrier sites. Based upon this increased binding, we have postulated that the TS abnormality may be related to an increased innervation of the dopaminergic system. In order to confirm this finding and to circumvent several drawbacks associated with the use of postmortem tissue, we plan to measure dopamine carrier sites in individuals with TS by using positron emission tomography (PET). The ability of PET to correlate in-vivo measurements with pathologic findings provides us with a valuable alternative to the use of postmortem tissues. Results from binding studies, with use of the radioligand [11C]WIN 35,428, will be compared to results from age- and sex-matched controls. We will also correlate binding data with tic symptoms and neurocognitive characteristics. This study should provide important information on the dopamine system in TS. Dean Wong, MD., Harvey Singer, M.D., Jason Brandt, M.D. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD Award $25,000 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 1992