Valtteri Kaasinen

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BACKGROUND Brain dopamine neurons code rewarding environmental stimuli by releasing endogenous dopamine, a transmission signal that is important for reinforcement learning. Human reward-seeking gambling behavior, and especially pathological gambling, has been presumed to be modulated by brain dopamine. METHODS Striatal dopamine release was studied with(More)
Modern functional imaging methods, such as positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), provide non-invasive, quantitative tools for the direct measurement of neurotransmitter function in the living human brain. The dopamine system has been of key interest; first, because it has a prominant role in several(More)
A distinctive personality type, characterized by introversion, inflexibility, and low novelty seeking, has been suggested to be associated with Parkinson's disease. To test the hypothesis that Parkinson's disease is associated with a specific dopamine-related personality type, the personality structures of 61 unmedicated Parkinson's disease patients and 45(More)
Previous imaging studies in Parkinson's disease have focused mainly on the striatum, a region with very high dopaminergic activity. Using modern high-sensitivity 3D [(18)F]fluorodopa (Fdopa)-PET, mesocortical monoamine projections can be studied. To study the frontal monoaminergic system in unmedicated early Parkinson's disease in vivo, we examined 20 early(More)
Loss of dopamine D2-like receptors in the striatum has been associated with both normal human aging and impairment of cognitive and motor functions in the elderly. To investigate whether there are age-associated changes in dopamine D2 and D3 receptor subtypes (D2/3Rs) outside the striatum, a D2/3R selective high-affinity radioligand [11C]FLB 457 was used in(More)
Dopamine is known to regulate food intake by modulating food reward via the mesolimbic circuitry of the brain. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of high energy input (i.v. glucose) on striatal and thalamic dopamine release in overweight and lean individuals. We hypothesized that glucose would induce dopamine release and positive ratings(More)
Cerebral gray matter (GM) volume decreases in normal aging with a parallel increase in intracranial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume. There is considerable interindividual variation in these changes, and the consequences of age-related GM shrinkage and CSF expansion are unclear. The present study examined whether late adulthood brain structural differences(More)
INTRODUCTION Impulse control disorders occur frequently in patients with Parkinson's disease. However, the frequencies have been investigated mainly in patients from secondary or tertiary care centers, and thus, the prevalence rates in general community are not known. OBJECTIVE Our objective was to study the prevalence rates of impulse control disorders(More)
OBJECTIVE Brain acetylcholinesterase activity was determined in healthy controls and in patients with mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer's disease. METHODS A specific acetylcholinesterase tracer, [methyl-(11)C]N-methyl-piperidyl-4-acetate ([(11)C]MP4A), and a three dimensional PET system with magnetic resonance coregistration were used for(More)
Recent data from animal experiments suggest an important role for the basal ganglia in the processing and sensorimotor gating of nociceptive information. However, very little is known about their possible participation in human pain. Because of our previous finding of increased excitability of the blink reflex (a brainstem reflex under dopaminergic(More)