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Title: Clinical and PET imaging studies in Parkinson's disease motor and non-motor complications : serotonergic and dopamimergic mechanisms and applications in treatment
Author: Politis, Marios
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 8240
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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The clinical course of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is complicated by the development of motor and non-motor complications. This thesis, using clinical motor and non-motor assessments and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with 11C-raclopride, 11CDASB and 18F-DOPA, aims to explore in PD the role of: (1) postsynaptic dopamine D2 receptor dysfunction, (2) serotonergic dysfunction in the development of non-motor symptoms such as depression and body weight change, (3) striatal serotonergic neurons in levodopa- and graft -induced dyskinesias (LIDs and GIDs), and (4) the efficacy of treatment with continuous dopaminergic stimulation. The main findings are as follows: (1) D2 receptor dysfunction in the hypothalamus but not in the putamen was evident in PD, possibly accounting for the development of non-motor symptoms. (2) A staging of serotonergic dysfunction throughout the clinical course of PD has been demonstrated in this thesis and showed that serotonergic system is involved early on. (3) Higher serotonin transporter availability has been found in PD patients with elevated depressive symptoms and in PD patients with significant changes in their body weight. (4) Striatal serotonergic terminals are involved in peak-dose LIDs in PD, and administration of a high bolus dose of a 5-HT1A agonist was able to normalize extracellular dopamine levels and alleviate dyskinesias. (5) Excessive serotonergic innervation was found in two PD patients with GIDs who had experienced major recovery after striatal transplantation with fetal cells. GIDs were markedly attenuated by repeated administration of low doses of a 5-HT1A agonist, which dampens transmitter release from serotonergic neurons, indicating that serotonergic hyperinnervation was the likely cause of GIDs. (6) Continuous dopaminergic stimulation with levodopa intestinal gel induced good clinical response and stable and prolonged synaptic levels of striatal dopamine release. My observations provide fundamental insight for the role and interaction of serotonergic and dopaminergic systems in the pathophysiology of PD and have key implications for the management of motor and non-motor complications with drugs or cell therapies.
Supervisor: Piccini, Paola Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral