Striatal dopamine D1 receptors were investigated in 11 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), five patients with striatonigral degeneration (SND) and six age-matched controls by positron emission tomography and carbon-11 labelled SCH23390. The SND patients showed mean 12%, 21%, and 31% declines in the ratios of radioactivity in the caudate, anterior putamen, and posterior putamen compared with that in the occipital cortex. These ratios were not significantly altered in the PD patients. The results may explain the different therapeutic responses to levadopa between SND and PD patients, and this technique might prove useful for their differentiation.
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