Adenosine SPECT imaging could single out neurodegenerative, psychiatric disorders

August 27, 2013

The neuromodulator adenosine and its interaction with a receptor known as A2A are being implicated in a range of brain diseases, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, as well as a spate of psychiatric disorders. A novel SPECT agent has been found to successfully shine a spotlight on this relationship, according to research published Aug. 22 in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

A group evaluated I-123 MNI-420 for the feasibility of imaging A2A in the brain. The research, led by Adriana Alexandre S. Tavares, a PhD candidate working with Molecular NeuroImaging, a neuroimaging research institute based in New Haven, Conn., is a continuation of scientific query into A2A in connection with dopaminergic receptors essential for controlled movement, and antagonists of the receptor have been found to have a protective effect on neurons in Parkinson’s studies. Additionally, A2A dysfunction may play a part in panic, hyperactivity and other mood disorders, schizophrenia and the physiology of addiction.