Date: 23 Jun 2011

PET molecular imaging in stem cell therapy for neurological diseases

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Abstract

Human neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis are caused by loss of different types of neurons and glial cells in the brain and spinal cord. At present, there are no effective therapies against these disorders. Discovery of the therapeutic potential of stem cells offers new strategies for the treatment of neurological diseases. Direct assessment of stem cells’ survival, interaction with the host and impact on neuronal functions after transplantation requires advanced in vivo imaging techniques. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a potential molecular imaging modality to evaluate the viability and function of transplanted tissue or stem cells in the nervous system. This review focuses on PET molecular imaging in stem cell therapy for neurological diseases.