Objective: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors have close interactions with the dopaminergic system and play critical roles in cognitive function. The purpose of this study was to compare these receptors between living PD patients and healthy subjects.
Methods: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors were imaged in 10 nondemented Parkinson's disease patients and 15 age-matched healthy subjects using a single-photon emission computed tomography ligand [(123)I]5-iodo-3-[2(S)-2-azetidinylmethoxy]pyridine. Using an arterial input function, we measured the total distribution volume (V; specific plus nondisplaceable), as well as the delivery (K(1)).
Results: Parkinson's disease showed a widespread significant decrease (approximately 10%) of V in both cortical and subcortical regions without a significant change in K(1).
Interpretation: These results indicate the importance of extending the study to demented patients.