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Research topic: Neuroreceptor-PET, Element-Imaging

Current and past studies involved measurement of receptor densities using radioligands and positron emission tomography. Patients succumb to neurological and psychiatric diseases were assessed in comparison with controls. Using [18F]altanserin we detected decreased serotonin 5-HT2A-receptors in the striatum and the insula of people at risk for psychosis. (NEMO Research Group).

In similar patients actually, we examine the dopamine transporter and the dopa decarboxylase.
In patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), an atypical parkinson syndrome we discovered a nigro-striatal increase of serotonin 5-HT2A-receptors (Experimental Neurology Unit).

The onset of Huntington’s disease can be rougly predicted from the number of CAG trinucleotid repeats in the huntingtin gene. We discovered the A1 adenosine receptor density decreasing as a function of the predicted delay to disease onset starting from an upregulated state as compared to controls. (Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Ambulanz für neurogenetisch neurodegenerative Erkrankungen / M. Huntington).

The majority of radioligands unfortunately undergoes significant metabolism already within the timeframe of PET scanning. Therefore outcome parameters have to be corrected for metabolic effects and referenced to the intact parent compound.
We established radio thin layer chromatography methods for the separation of metabolites of [18F]altanserin, [18F]FP-CIT and [18F]fluorodopa. We disclosed the metabolism of [18F]CPFPX with respect to structures and pathways.

In the realm of the pioniering work of Dr. Sabine Becker (ZCH) on the quantitative mapping of element distributions in tissue sections using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) I contributed significant work on several biomedical applications, quantification and techniques of image analysis. (BrainMet).