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Neuroimaging allows researchers and clinicians to noninvasively assess structure and function of the brain. With the advances of imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance, nuclear, and optical imaging; the design of target-specific probes; and/or the introduction of reporter gene assays, these technologies are now capable of visualizing cellular and molecular processes in vivo. Undoubtedly, the system biological character of molecular neuroimaging, which allows for the study of molecular events in the intact organism, will enhance our understanding of physiology and pathophysiology of the brain and improve our ability to diagnose and treat diseases more specifically. Technical/scientific challenges to be faced are the development of highly sensitive imaging modalities, the design of specific imaging probe molecules capable of penetrating the CNS and reporting on endogenous cellular and molecular processes, and the development of tools for extracting quantitative, biologically relevant information from imaging data. Today, molecular neuroimaging is still an experimental approach with limited clinical impact; this is expected to change within the next decade. This article provides an overview of molecular neuroimaging approaches with a focus on rodent studies documenting the exploratory state of the field. Concepts are illustrated by discussing applications related to the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease.
|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed, original work|
|Communities & Collections:||04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology|
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
|DDC:||570 Life sciences; biology|
610 Medicine & health
|Deposited On:||12 Jan 2012 17:10|
|Last Modified:||27 Nov 2013 20:54|
|Citations:||Web of Science®. Times Cited: 4|
Scopus®. Citation Count: 5
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