PET imaging studies in drug abuse

Joanna S. Fowler, Nora D. Volkow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In spite of the massive public health problem associated with drug abuse, effective treatments remain elusive. This is due in part to a relatively poor understanding of the neurochemical changes which drugs of abuse produce in the human brain and the relationship of these changes to the behavioral and addictive properties of drugs. With the development of modern imaging methods and a variety of labeled drugs and radiotracers, it has now become possible to track many aspects of drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics directly in the human brain and to relate these parameters to the behavioral and toxic properties of drugs. Review: In this article, we will highlight some examples of the use of Positron Emission Tomography to measure drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and their relationship to addiction and to toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Toxicology - Clinical Toxicology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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