Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique

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Résumé de Balazs Gulyas (Séance du 25 novembre 2006)

THE RECEPTOR FINGERPRINT OF THE HUMAN BRAIN AN ITS CHANGES

DURING LIFE

par M. B. GULYAS ((Department of Neuroscience – Stockholm), invité.

With the help of PET one can explore the various neurotransmitter-neuroreceptor systems, their balance and their changes during life, i.e., the human brain’s receptor fingerprint: the highly individual composition of, and balance among, the various receptor systems can be measured both qualitatively (the presence of various receptors in different brain regions) and quantitatively (the density of the receptors, their binding potencial, occupancy, etc.).

The understanding of the normal constitution of the primate brain’s neurotransmitter-receptor systems and their pathological changes requires multiligand receptor mapping, using various PET radioligands. Some major components of our brain’s receptor fingerprint strictly correlate with personality traits, character and temperament, and most probably, with “cognitive styles”, as well. The brain’s receptor fingerprint is continuously changing during our normal life (maturation, ageing) and short term physiological or pharmacological challenges (sensory or cognitive processes, drug administration etc.) can also modify it. Social interactions, learning, habituation and other lasting interactions with our social and physical environment can significantly modify the receptor fingerprint. Pathological conditions, including neurological and psychiatric diseases strongly affect the normal neuroreceptor-neurotransmitter balance of the brain, as do pharmacological treatments or drug abuse.

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