Imaging the glutamatergic system in vivo – relevance to schizophrenia
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Schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric illness. Its pathophysiology is not fully clarified. Animal data, in vitro and indirect in vivo imaging support glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor hypofunction in the disorder. A lack of suitable ligands has obstructed direct evaluation of the NMDA receptor hypofunction hypothesis of schizophrenia. Many research groups are working towards developing appropriate single-photon emission tomography and positron emission tomography ligands for the NMDA receptor. This paper briefly presents evidence for links between glutamatergic system dysfunction and schizophrenia. It reviews the radioligands to evaluate glutamatergic receptors in vivo and discusses issues in developing novel ligands for the glutamatergic system.
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