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Abstract #1902

New Window on Human Cognition: 13C Assays of Glutamate Neurotransmission in Frontal Brain

Napapon Sailasuta1, Thao T. Tran1,2, Brian D. Ross1,2

1Huntington Medical Research Institutes, Pasadena, CA, United States; 2Rudi Schulte Research Institute, Santa Barbara , CA, United States

Cognitive function in humans is currently imaged in real time only with radioactive PET or with task-driven fMRI. True molecular imaging on the underlying neurochemical events, here ascribed predominantly to glutamate neurotransmission, has been developed using non-radioactive, stable carbon isotopes infused intravenously and selectively taken up and metabolized by EITHER neurons or glia, in frontal brain (a totally novel application relevant to imaging of cognition) and in posterior brain. The tests have been evaluated in more than 20 normal human subjects and several prototypical disorders of cognition with promising results which complement or replace PET.