In vivo imaging of microglial activation with [11C](R -PK11195 PET in corticobasal degeneration

Alexander Gerhard, Justin Watts, Iris Trender-Gerhard, Federico Turkheimer, Richard B. Banati, Kailash Bhatia, David J. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is a neurodegenerative parkinsonian disorder of unknown cause that shows considerable clinical heterogeneity. In CBD, activated microglia have been shown to the associated closely with the extensive tau pathologgy found in the affected basal ganglia, brainstem nuclei, and cortical regions. We report on the use of [11C](R -(1-[2-chlorophenyl]-N-methyl-N-[1-methytpropyl]-3-isoquinoline carboxamide) (PK11195) positron emission tomography (PET), a marker of peripheral benzodiazepine binding sites (PBBS) that are expressed by activated microglia, to demonstrate in vivo the degree and distribution of glial response to the degenerative process in 4 patients with CBD. Compared with normal age-matched controls, the CBD patient group showed significantly increased mean [11-C](R)-PK11195 binding in the caudate nucleus, putamen, substantia nigra, pons, pre- and postcentral gyrus, and the frontal lobe. [11C](R)-PK11195 PET reveals a pattern of increased microglial activation in CBD patients involving cortical regions and the basal ganglia that corresponds well with the know distribution of neuropathological changes, which may therefore help to characterize in vivo the underlying disease activity in CBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1226
Number of pages6
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Activated microglia
  • Corticobasal degeneration
  • [C](R)-PK11195 PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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