PET Molecular Imaging Research of Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesias in Parkinson’s Disease

Gennaro Pagano, Tayyabah Yousaf, Marios Politis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
158 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose of Review: To review the current status of positron emission tomography (PET) molecular imaging research of levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LIDs) in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Recent Findings: Recent PET studies have provided robust evidence that LIDs in PD are associated with elevated and fluctuating striatal dopamine synaptic levels, which is a consequence of the imbalance between dopaminergic and serotonergic terminals, with the latter playing a key role in mishandling presynaptic dopamine release. Long-term exposure to levodopa is no longer believed to solely induce LIDs, as studies have highlighted that PD patients who go on to develop LIDs exhibit elevated putaminal dopamine release before the initiation of levodopa treatment, suggesting the involvement of other mechanisms, including altered neuronal firing and abnormal levels of phosphodiesterase 10A. Summary: Dopaminergic, serotonergic, glutamatergic, adenosinergic and opioid systems and phosphodiesterase 10A levels have been shown to be implicated in the development of LIDs in PD. However, no system may be considered sufficient on its own for the development of LIDs, and the mechanisms underlying LIDs in PD may have a multisystem origin. In line with this notion, future studies should use multimodal PET molecular imaging in the same individuals to shed further light on the different mechanisms underlying the development of LIDs in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number90
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Dyskinesias
  • Molecular imaging
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Positron emission tomography


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