Historically, structural brain abnormalities have been of primary interest to researchers in the field of psychiatric diseases. However, the development of radioactive labeled compounds and appropriate detection devices has enabled researchers to study the underlying pathophysiology, in particular metabolic and neurochemical brain alterations of psychiatric diseases in vivo in humans. Isotopes can be incorporated into biological compounds to measure blood flow, glucose and amino acid metabolism, or to quantitatively analyze neurotransmitter receptors in psychiatric patients. Furthermore, both single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission computed tomography (PET) allow in vivo assessment of psychotropic drug effects in animals and humans, providing a better understanding of drug effects. Thus, the introduction of functional neuroimaging with radioisotopes as well as functional
Textbook of Biological Psychiatry. Edited by Jaak Panksepp Copyright © 2004 by Wiley-Liss, Inc. ISBN: 0-471-43478-7
magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has led to a remarkable increase in knowledge about brain function in psychiatric diseases.
This chapter provides an overview of major recent advances in the use of functional neuroimaging, with radioisotopes as well as with fMRI, while also pointing out how these findings impact (or don't) on clinical psychiatry at the "bedside."
Was this article helpful?