Combined analysis of multimodal brain imaging data for the study and prevention of major depressive disorders in high risk offspring
The serotonin (5‐HT) neurotransmitter system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of major depression (Blier et al., 1990; Czesak et al., 2006; Lemonde et al., 2003; Stockmeier et al., 1998). This system can be investigated in vivo via Positron Emission Tomography (PET), a nuclear imaging technology that uses radioactively labeled molecules (i.e. radioligands) to quantify and visualize biological processes, such as blood flow, brain metabolism, and distribution of proteins throughout the body. In investigations related to depression specifically, PET is used for measuring in vivo the closest quantification to in vitro concentration of available receptors of the serotonin system (i.e. the binding potential, BPF) (Innis et al., 2007).
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