ERIC Number: EJ904483
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 66
Positron Emission Tomography Methods with Potential for Increased Understanding of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Sundaram, Senthil K.; Chugani, Harry T.; Chugani, Diane C.
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, v11 n4 p325-330 Dec 2005
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a technique that enables imaging of the distribution of radiolabeled tracers designed to track biochemical and molecular processes in the body after intravenous injection or inhalation. New strategies for the use of radiolabeled tracers hold potential for imaging gene expression in the brain during development and following interventions. In addition, PET may be key in identifying the physiological consequences of gene mutations associated with mental retardation. The development of high spatial resolution microPET scanners for imaging of rodents provides a means for longitudinal study of transgenic mouse models of genetic disorders associated with mental retardation. In this review, we describe PET methodology, illustrate how PET can be used to delineate biochemical changes during brain development, and provide examples of how PET has been applied to study brain glucose metabolism in Rett syndrome, serotonin synthesis in autism, and GABA[subscript A] receptors in Angelman's syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome. Future application of PET scanning in the study of mental retardation might include measurements of brain protein synthesis in fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex, two common conditions associated with mental retardation in which cellular mechanisms involve dysregulation of protein synthesis. Mental retardation results in life-long disability, and application of new PET technologies holds promise for a better understanding of the biological underpinnings of mental retardation, with the potential to uncover new treatment options.
Descriptors: Genetic Disorders, Mental Retardation, Developmental Disabilities, Genetics, Brain, Diagnostic Tests, Disability Identification, Measurement Techniques, Physiology, Animals, Longitudinal Studies, Biology, Child Development, Metabolism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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