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PEARL-PD

The PEARL-PD project ([18F]FE-PE2I PET/CT study of Dopamine Transporters in Early Parkinsonian Disease) is a non-profit, academic clinical trial (Eudra CT-nr: 2015–003045-26) evaluating the diagnostic performance of a new, highly selective positron emission (PET) tracer for the Dopamine Transporter (DAT). The PEARL-PD study is conducted in collaboration with scientists from several disciplines at Umeå University as well as the researchers at the Karolinska Institute who developed this tracer.

The tracer, [18F]FE-PE2I is one of the most selective compounds for the DAT and allows for high quality in vivo imaging of the DAT in the brain, including the midbrain.

The overall goal for the PEARL-PD project is to improve the diagnosis of idiopathic parkinsonian syndromes e.g. Parkinson's disease (PD) in an early phase of the disease. The study is designed to evaluate the diagnostic performance and safety in clinical imaging, but also to gain more knowledge of the dopaminergic function in parkinsonian patients and in healthy state of aged people. Within the PEARL-PD study, human whole body imaging and dosimetry of [18F]FE-PE2I has been evaluated for the first time.

Patients with de novo idiopathic parkinsonism and healthy volunteers participate in the study, which includes baseline DAT imaging with [18F]FE-PE2I PET/CT and [123I]FP-CIT SPECT (DaTSCAN™), cerebral perfusion imaging with [15O]H2O PET/CT, morphological and functional MRI, genetic testing and several clinical tests. The participants are followed up after 2 years for a clinical diagnostic reassessment. The project started in November 2015 and is expected to be terminated in 2020.

Involved UFBI-members and partners: Susanna Jakobson Mo (PI), Lars Jonasson, Jan Axelsson Katrine Riklund, Lars Forsgren, Rebeca de Peredo Axelsson, Kajsa Burström.

Other collaborators and staff in PEARL-PD: Sara af Bjerkén (Dept. of Integrative Medical Biology IMB, Umeå University) Jan Linder, Niklas Lenfeldt and Mona Edström (Dept. of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Umeå University), Anne Larsson-Strömvall and Helena Lizana (Dept. of Radiation sciences, Radiation Physics, Umeå University), Andrea Varrone and Christer Halldin (Dept. of Clinical Neuroscience, Centre for Psychiatry Research, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden)