Dopamine transporter density in the basal ganglia assessed with [123I]IPT SPET in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

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Abstract.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder in childhood that is known to be associated with dopamine dysregulation. In this study, we investigated dopamine transporter (DAT) density in children with ADHD using iodine-123 labelled N-(3-iodopropen-2-yl)-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-chlorophenyl) tropane ([123I]IPT) single-photon emission tomography (SPET) and postulated that an alteration in DAT density in the basal ganglia is responsible for dopaminergic dysfunction in children with ADHD. Nine drug-naive children with ADHD and six normal children were included in the study. We performed brain SPET 2 h after the intravenous administration of [123I]IPT and carried out both quantitative and qualitative analyses using the obtained SPET data, which were reconstructed for the assessment of the specific/non-specific DAT binding ratio in the basal ganglia. We then investigated the correlation between the severity scores of ADHD symptoms in children with ADHD assessed with ADHD rating scale-IV and the specific/non-specific DAT binding ratio in the basal ganglia. Drug-naive children with ADHD showed a significantly increased specific/non-specific DAT binding ratio in the basal ganglia compared with normal children. However, no significant correlation was found between the severity scores of ADHD symptoms in children with ADHD and the specific/non-specific DAT binding ratio in the basal ganglia. Our findings support the complex dysregulation of the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system in children with ADHD.

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