Synthesis and use of cocaine-analog MRI contrast agents to detect DAT concentration

INOR 667

Gregory R Naumiec, and Brenton DeBoef, Department of Chemistry, University of Rhode Island, 50 Lower College Rd, Kingston, RI 02881
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-radioactive and higher special resolution alternative to other diagnostic techniques such as SPECT or PET. Paramagnetic complexes are used as MRI contrast agents because their unpaired electrons decrease relaxation times of the nearby water molecules, thus increasing the signal. Our research involves the synthesis and use of cocaine-based contrast agents in order to measure the concentration of dopamine transporter (DAT). Knowing the concentration of DAT in the brain can help diagnosis conditions such as drug addiction, depression, and Parkinson's disease.