Mapping neuroreceptors with metal-labeled radiopharmaceuticals
The growing epidemiological and economic burden of neurological diseases on society is tremendous. A correct and timely diagnosis can help in lowering the burden and improving the life quality of both the diseased person and the caretaker. Imaging of the brain (neuroimaging) using CT, MRI, and nuclear imaging methods can provide anatomical and functional information. Neuroreceptors are central to neurotransmission and neuromodulation in the CNS. In vivo imaging of receptors in the brain provides powerful tools for the functional study of the central nervous system (CNS) in normal or diseased states. Presently, PET imaging using non-metallic radiotracers dominates the imaging of neuroreceptors. Metal-based probes for SPECT and PET can be economical and logistically easier to use without compromising the information. This review focuses on the development of metallic radiotracers for (99mTc) SPECT and (68Ga) PET along with future directions based on the metallic probes developed for other imaging modalities namely MRI.