Dopamine Transporters Decrease with Age

Nora D. Volkow, Yu Shin Ding, Joanna S. Fowler, Gene Jack Wang, Jean Logan, S. John Gatley, Robert Hitzemann, Gwenn Smith, Suzanne D. Fields, Ruben Gur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

219 Scopus citations


Postmortem studies have documented degeneration of dopamine cells with age, but the changes that occur in healthy aging individuals is less clear. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent to which age-induced changes in dopamine transporters occur in subjects with no evidence of motor impairment. Methods: We evaluated 23 right-handed healthy volunteers (age range 20-74 yr) using PET and [11C]d-fhreo-methylphenidate. The ratio of the distribution volume for [11C]d-threo-methylphenidate in striatum to that in cerebellum was used as model parameter for dopamine transporter availability (Bmax/Kd + 1). Results: Dopamine transporter availability was significantly lower in subjects >40 yr of age than in those

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-559
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes



  • Degeneration
  • Dopamine transporters
  • PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

Cite this

Volkow, N. D., Ding, Y. S., Fowler, J. S., Wang, G. J., Logan, J., Gatley, S. J., ... Gur, R. (1996). Dopamine Transporters Decrease with Age. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 37(4-6), 554-559.