Quantitative measures of striatal VMAT2 binding sites appear to represent an excellent surrogate of nigrostriatal projection integrity in experimental animal models. Importantly, there does not appear to be a significant effect of dopaminergic drugs or of lesion compensatory effect on the expressed level of VMAT2 binding sites in the striatum. Highly precise and specific measures of human VMAT2 are possible with PET employing the novel tracer (+)11C-DTBZ. This methodology appears particularly suited to the objective measure of PD severity and of its progression. Such measures will be indispensable in the search for disease-modifying effects of PD therapy.