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Assessment of regional GABA(A) receptor binding using 18F-fluoroflumazenil positron emission tomography in spastic type cerebral palsy

Publication Date
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Binding Sites
  • Brain Stem/Physiopathology/Radionuclide Imaging
  • Cerebral Palsy/*Physiopathology/*Radionuclide Imaging
  • Child
  • Female
  • Flumazenil/*Analogs & Derivatives/Diagnostic Use
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes/*Diagnostic Use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex/Physiopathology/Radionuclide Imaging
  • *Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Receptors
  • Gaba-A/*Physiology
  • Biology


Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) due to hypoxic-ischemic insult to the immature brain, chorioamnionitis and maternal infection are the major etiological factors of spastic type cerebral palsy (CP). Despite advances in preventing and treating certain causes of CP, the number of patients has remained essentially unchanged and the pathophysiological mechanisms related to motor dysfunction remain poorly understood. In this study, statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analysis of cerebral gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor PET imaging using [18F]-fluoroflumazenil showed increased GABA(A) receptor binding in the bilateral motor and visual cortices in spastic diplegia (SD) type CP patients (n = 20) compared with normal controls (n = 10). As GABA(A) receptor signaling modulates biological perception and production of movement, complex motor skills and use-dependent plasticity in the motor cortex, increased GABA(A) receptor binding in the motor cortex might play a important role in poor motor control. Decreased GABA(A) receptor binding was seen in the brain stem in SD CP patients, which appears to be related to spastic symptom.

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