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Neuroimaging in Epilepsy$
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Harry Chugani, MD

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342765.001.0001

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Alpha-[11C]Methyl-L-Tryptophan Positron Emission Tomography

Alpha-[11C]Methyl-L-Tryptophan Positron Emission Tomography

(p.186) Chapter 12 Alpha-[11C]Methyl-L-Tryptophan Positron Emission Tomography
Neuroimaging in Epilepsy

Carlos E. A. Batista

Diane C. Chugani

Harry T. Chugani

Oxford University Press

Alpha[11C]Methyl-L-tryptophan (AMT) was developed initially as a tracer for positron emission tomography (PET) in order to measure brain serotonin synthesis, but subsequent studies have shown that it also traces the kynurenine pathway. AMT PET has been applied to the study of several populations of patients being evaluated for epilepsy surgery, including lesional (tuberous sclerosis complex, tumors and malformations of cortical development) and nonlesional cases. It has shown a high specificity, but modest sensitivity, in identifying the epileptic focus in cortical regions. However, AMT PET does not have localizing value in assessment of medial temporal lobe epilepsy. AMT PET has increased our understanding of the kynurenine pathway in epilepsy suggesting new pharmacological approaches.

Keywords:   alpha[11C]methyl-L-tryptophan, serotonin synthesis, kynurenine pathway, quinolinic acid, epilepsy surgery

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