Use of18F-ASEM PET to determine the availability of the a7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in recent-onset psychosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Limited postmortem evidence suggests a diminished availability of the α7 -nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) in the hippocampus in psychosis. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we used PET with18F-ASEM (18F-JHU82132; 3-(1,4-diazabicyclo[3.2.2] nonan-4-yl)-6-[18F]fluorodibenzo[b,d]thiophene 5,5-dioxide), a radiotracer targeting the α7-nAChR, to compare the binding of18F-ASEM in the hippocampus of individuals who had recent-onset psychosis with that in healthy controls. Results: Individuals with recent-onset psychosis (nonaffective psychosis or affective psychosis), particularly those with nonaffective psychosis, showed lower hippocampal binding of18F-ASEM than healthy controls. Among patients, lower binding was associated with lower performance in 2 cognitive domains after controlling for age. Conclusion: Low availability of the α7-nAChR in the hippocampus may be linked to recent-onset psychosis. Further study is needed to assess its clinical relationship to neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-243
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019



  • 18F-ASEM
  • Hippocampus
  • PET
  • Recent-onset psychosis
  • Α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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