The clinical use of SPECT and PET molecular imaging in Alzheimer’s disease
Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) are functional nuclear medicine techniques which allow for accurate non-invasive in vivo measurements of a wide range of regional tissue functions in man. Brain functional imaging with SPECT and PET is based on the recording of the distribution of administered radionuclides in three dimensions, thus producing maps of brain biochemical and physiological processes. SPECT and PET techniques are able to image brain perfusion and metabolism, as well as various neurotransmission or other cellular processes using specific radioligands which mark in vivo receptors, transporters or enzymes. Brain SPECT and PET imaging - or molecular imaging -, has been applied to the study of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) for over two decades.