PET translates neurophysiology into images

A review to stimulate a network between neuroimaging and basic research

Giampiero Giovacchini, Ferdinando Squitieri, Mouna Esmaeilzadeh, Amalia Milano, Luigi Mansi, Andrea Ciarmiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the last decades there has been a progressive advance in the development of techniques able to explore in humans neurophysiologic and neurochemical processes. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a very powerful technique allowing to study a quite variable range of physiological and biochemical processes in the healthy subjects and in diseases. Apart from its capacity to provide pathophysiological information, PET is also important for the objective assessment of therapeutic efficacy. Initial studies were performed measuring cerebral metabolic rate for glucose (CMRglc) and cerebral blood flow (CBF), representing an indirect index of synaptic activity. The advent of receptor tracers allowed measuring other important physiological parameters, such as receptor occupancy, and endogenous release. In neuropsychiatric disorders, as Alzheimer disease, schizophrenia, epilepsy and Huntington disease, PET has been useful to elaborate hypothesis of the pathogenesis, to relate symptoms to biological variables and to study individuals at increased risk. The new concepts of neurovascular unit and default network, preferentially active at rest, can significantly change the approach of PET, with images reflecting a complex scenario, not merely limited to neural activity, but involving the activity of the entire neurovascular unit and the multifunctional role of astrocytes. To detect dysfunction of the dialog between glutamatergic neurons and astrocytes could lead to a better understanding of altered functional brain images. In this direction a professional network between PET researchers and basic scientists, could give a determinant improvement in the capability to understand the complex physiological and pathophysiological cerebral world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)948-961
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Volume226
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Fingerprint

Neurophysiology
Neuroimaging
Positron emission tomography
Positron-Emission Tomography
Research
Astrocytes
Cerebrovascular Circulation
Biochemical Phenomena
Physiological Phenomena
Active networks
Huntington Disease
Neurons
Epilepsy
Brain
Schizophrenia
Healthy Volunteers
Alzheimer Disease
Blood
Research Personnel
Glucose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology

Cite this

PET translates neurophysiology into images : A review to stimulate a network between neuroimaging and basic research. / Giovacchini, Giampiero; Squitieri, Ferdinando; Esmaeilzadeh, Mouna; Milano, Amalia; Mansi, Luigi; Ciarmiello, Andrea.

In: Journal of Cellular Physiology, Vol. 226, No. 4, 04.2011, p. 948-961.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Giovacchini, Giampiero ; Squitieri, Ferdinando ; Esmaeilzadeh, Mouna ; Milano, Amalia ; Mansi, Luigi ; Ciarmiello, Andrea. / PET translates neurophysiology into images : A review to stimulate a network between neuroimaging and basic research. In: Journal of Cellular Physiology. 2011 ; Vol. 226, No. 4. pp. 948-961.
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