Neuroinflammation in Neurodegenerative Disorders—a Review

  • Martin Schain
  • William Charles KreislEmail author
Neuroimaging (DJ Brooks, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neuroimaging


The potential for positron emission tomography (PET) to detect neuroinflammation in vivo has sparked a remarkable interest in various disciplines of neuroscience. Early PET radioligands, such as [11C]PK(R)-11195 for the 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) and [11C]L-deprenyl for monoamine oxidase B, have been used in studies designed to clarify the role of neuroinflammation in a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Recent years have witnessed the development of several second-generation PET radioligands for TSPO and radioligands to measure endogenous targets that are active in various stages of the inflammatory cascade, such as cyclooxygenase and arachidonic acid. Here, we discuss some of the biomarkers for neuroinflammation that are available for quantification with PET, as well as recent findings from studies where neuroinflammation has been assessed in neurodegenerative disorders. In addition, we highlight the challenges to accurate interpretation of PET studies of neuroinflammation.


Positron emission tomography Inflammation Translocator protein Neurodegeneration 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Martin Schain and William Charles Kreisl declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology Division, Department of PsychiatryColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging BrainColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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