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Dopaminergic deficit in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis assessed with [I-123] IPT single photon emission computed tomography
  1. G D Borasioa,
  2. R Linkeb,
  3. J Schwarz,
  4. V Schlampa,
  5. A Abela,
  6. P D Mozleyc,
  7. K Tatschb
  1. aDepartment of Neurology, bDepartment of Nuclear Medicine, Klinikum Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, D-81366 München, Germany, cDepartment of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  1. Dr G D Borasio, Department of Neurology, University of Munich, Klinikum Grosshadern, D-81366 München, Germany. Telephone 0049 89 7095 3671; fax 0049 89 7095 3677; email Borasio{at}


Dopamine transporter imaging was performed in 18 patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 11 age matched controls with [I-123] IPT (N-(3-iodopropen-2-yl)-2β-carbomethoxy-3β(4-chlorophenyl)-tropane), a new cocaine analogue that selectively binds to the dopamine transporter located on dopaminergic nerve terminals. Image analysis showed that striatal IPT binding was moderately but significantly reduced in the ALS group compared with controls (p<0.01). The reduction of IPT binding was similar for patients with bulbar onset compared with those with limb onset. There was no correlation between values for uptake of striatal IPT and the age of the patients or the duration of the disease. These data indicate that nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons are subclinically affected in a subset of patients with sporadic ALS.

  • dopamine transporter
  • basal ganglia
  • motor neuron disease
  • single photon emission tomography

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