Parallel loss of presynaptic and postsynaptic dopamine markers in normal aging

N. D. Volkow, G. J. Wang, J. S. Fowler, Y. S. Ding, R. C. Gur, J. Gatley, J. Logan, P. J. Moberg, R. Hitzemann, G. Smith, N. Pappas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


Aging of the human brain is associated with a decline in dopamine (DA) function, generally interpreted as reflecting DA cell loss. Positron emission tomography studies revealed that in healthy individuals, the age-related losses in DA transporters (presynaptic marker) were associated with losses in D2 receptors (postsynaptic marker) rather than with increases as is known to occur with DA cell loss. This association was specific for DA synaptic markers, because they were not correlated with striatal metabolism. Furthermore, the association was independent of age, suggesting that a common mechanism regulates the expression of receptors and transporters irrespective of age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-147
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes


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