In vivo studies using single-photon emission tomography (SPET) and positron emission tomography have shown an age-related decline in the number of striatal dopamine transporters in healthy subjects. We examined ten healthy subjects and 33 de novo patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) using [123I]2beta-carbomethoxy-3beta-(4-iodophenyl)tropane ([123I]beta-CIT) SPET. A clear age-related loss of dopamine transporters was found in the healthy subjects. In the PD group, controlling for the contribution of disease severity, we found a small (compared with controls) but significant decrease with aging, though only in the ipsilateral regions. This aging effect was especially pronounced in younger patients. We conclude that the use of age-correct SPET data in PD, based on studies with healthy subjects, may lead to an under- or an overestimation of the striatal binding measures.