Raúl de la Fuente-Fernández

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Clinical symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) do not manifest until dopamine (DA) neuronal loss reaches a symptomatic threshold. To explore the mechanisms of functional compensation that occur in presynaptic DA nerve terminals in PD, we compared striatal positron emission tomographic (PET) measurements by using [11C]dihydrotetrabenazine ([11C]DTBZ; labeling(More)
The power of placebos has long been recognized for improving numerous medical conditions such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Little is known, however, about the mechanism underlying the placebo effect. Using the ability of endogenous dopamine to compete for [11C]raclopride binding as measured by positron emission tomography, we provide in vivo evidence for(More)
Using the ability of [11C]raclopride to compete with dopamine for D(2)/D(3) receptors, we investigated by positron emission tomography the effect of placebo (saline) injection on dopamine release in the ventral striatum of patients with Parkinson's disease. We found evidence for placebo-induced dopamine release of similar magnitude to that reported in(More)
Peak-dose dyskinesias are abnormal movements that usually occur 1 h after oral administration of levodopa, and often complicate chronic treatment of Parkinson's disease. We investigated by PET with [11C]raclopride whether Parkinson's disease progression modifies the striatal changes in synaptic dopamine levels induced by levodopa administration, and whether(More)
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) has been recognized recently as an uncommon cause of parkinsonism, an alternate presentation to the typical cerebellar disorder. This research review summarizes the existing literature on parkinsonism-predominant presentation SCA2 and presents new clinical cases of patients with this condition. Various phenotypes are(More)
CONTEXT Expectations play a central role in the mechanism of the placebo effect. In Parkinson disease (PD), the placebo effect is associated with release of endogenous dopamine in both nigrostriatal and mesoaccumbens projections, yet the factors that control this dopamine release are undetermined. OBJECTIVE To determine how the strength of expectation of(More)
An increase in dopamine turnover has been hypothesized to occur early in Parkinson's disease (PD) as a compensatory mechanism for dopaminergic neuronal loss. A new approach to the determination of dopamine turnover was developed using 4-hour-long 18 F-fluorodopa (FD) positron emission tomography (PET) data. An effective dopamine turnover, an estimate of(More)
We tested the efficacy, stability and predictors of outcome of unilateral pallidotomy used to treat patients with Parkinson's disease inadequately controlled with pharmacotherapy (IP). The surgical procedure was as simple as possible; we used CT rather than MRI, and we omitted microelectrode recording. We studied 24 patients with IP; 22 of these patients(More)
Motor fluctuations are a major disabling complication in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. To investigate whether such oscillations in mobility can be attributed to changes in the synaptic levels of dopamine, we studied prospectively patients in the early stages of Parkinson's disease with a follow-up after at least 3 years of levodopa treatment. At(More)