Dr. Richard Carson

Dr. Richard Carson

Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and of Biomedical Engineering
Director, Yale PET Center
Director of Graduate Studies, Yale Biomedical Engineering Yale University

"Imaging of Synaptic Density in the Human Brain"

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 16:00

Auditorium B, 3rd Floor, University Hospital, LHSC

A wide variety of neuropsychiatric diseases involve the loss of neurons and synapses. To date, there are many brain imaging methods that can quantify surrogates for brain synaptic density. These include various MR measures of gray matter density, and FDG, which assesses glucose metabolism and neuronal activation. Recently, we developed a new PET radiopharmaceutical, [C-11]UCB-J, which binds selectively to a synaptic vesicle protein, SV2A. This target is ubiquitously expressed in the brain, and thus provides an imaging paradigm to measure synaptic density in humans. The presentation will include the development of this ligand, the in vivo and ex vivo validation studies in nonhuman primates, healthy human studies including test/retest scans, kinetic modeling, and blocking studies to identify reference regions. Initial patient results are shown in temporal lobe epilepsy, where UCB-J shows much larger ipsilateral/contralateral asymmetries than FDG, and in Alzheimer’s disease, which showed a large (~40%) reduction in hippocampus and entorhinal cortex.