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Quantum Life and Medical Science Directorate

Functional Brain Imaging

Update:2020年11月4日更新
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Tackling the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dementia based on scientific evidence

Using quantum imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), QST is conducting research on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of neuropsychiatric diseases, including dementia. In 2013, QST researchers developed a PET ligand, PBB3, and were the first to demonstrate successful in vivo visualization of accumulated tau in the brain, thereby making significant progress toward early diagnoses of dementia based on neuropathological information. Research is currently being expanded to therapies utilizing techniques that allow an imaging-based evaluation of candidate drugs targeting tau pathologies in dementia, as well as of newly developed preventative food supplements for people at risk for dementia.

Clinical PET room

To evaluate mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric diseases, it is important to clarify brain functions arising from activities of specific neurons and neural circuits. To this end, it has been developed a technique called Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADD), which involves the expression of artificial receptors that respond only to drugs called "artificial ligands" at specific sites in the brain and allows the selective manipulation of neural circuits by these artificial ligands. QST has successfully applied this technique for the manipulation of neuronal circuits of interest to induce behavioral changes in experimental animals, while visualizing artificial receptors by PET. Research is underway with ultimate clinical aims to repair brain circuits that are damaged during aging or in diseases.

PET room for animal

Research Department

High-Profile Research Papers

  • "High-Contrast In Vivo Imaging of Tau Pathologies in Alzheimer’s and Non-Alzheimer’s Disease Tauopathies" Kenji Tagai, Maiko Ono, Manabu Kubota, Soichiro Kitamura, Keisuke Takahata, Chie Seki, Yuhei Takado, Hitoshi Shinotoh, Yasunori Sano, Yasuharu Yamamoto, Kiwamu Matsuoka, Hiroyuki Takuwa, Masafumi Shimojo, Manami Takahashi, Kazunori Kawamura, Tatsuya Kikuchi, Maki Okada, Haruhiko Akiyama, Hisaomi Suzuki, Mitsumoto Onaya, Takahiro Takeda, Kimihito Arai, Nobutaka Arai, Nobuyuki Araki, Yuko Saito, John Q. Trojanowski, Virginia M.Y. Lee, Sushil K. Mishra, Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Yasuyuki Kimura, Masanori Ichise, Yutaka Tomita, Ming-Rong Zhang, Tetsuya Suhara, Masahiro Shigeta, Naruhiko Sahara, Makoto Higuchi, Hitoshi Shimada, Neruon (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2020.09.042
  • "Deschloroclozapine, a potent and selective chemogenetic actuator enables rapid neuronal and behavioral modulations in mice and monkeys" Yuji Nagai, Naohisa Miyakawa, Hiroyuki Takuwa, Yukiko Hori, Kei Oyama, Bin Ji, Manami Takahashi, Xi-Ping Huang, Samuel T. Slocum, Jeffrey F. DiBerto, Yan Xiong, Takuya Urushihata, Toshiyuki Hirabayashi, Atsushi Fujimoto, Koki Mimura, Justin G. English, Jing Liu, Ken-ichi Inoue, Katsushi Kumata, Chie Seki, Maiko Ono, Masafumi Shimojo, Ming-Rong Zhang, Yutaka Tomita, Jin Nakahara, Tetsuya Suhara, Masahiko Takada, Makoto Higuchi, Jian Jin, Bryan L. Roth, Takafumi Minamimoto, Narure Neruoscience (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-020-0661-3
  • "Excess tau PET ligand retention in elderly patients with major depressive disorder" Sho Moriguchi, Keisuke Takahata, Hitoshi Shimada, Manabu Kubota, Soichiro Kitamura, Yasuyuki Kimura, Kenji Tagai, Ryosuke Tarumi, Hajime Tabuchi, Jeffrey H. Meyer, Masaru Mimura, Kazunori Kawamura, Ming-Rong Zhang, Shigeo Murayama, Tetsuya Suhara and Makoto Higuchi, Molecular Psychiatry (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0766-9
  • "Macaques exhibit implicit gaze bias anticipating others’ false belief-driven actions via the medial prefrontal cortex" Taketsugu Hayashi, Ryota Akikawa, Keisuke Kawasaki, Jun Egawa, Takafumi Minamimoto, Kazuto Kobayashi, Shigeki Kato, Yukiko Hori, Yuji Nagai, Atsuhiko Iijima, Toshiyuki Someya, Isao Hasegawa, Cell Reports (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.03.013
  • "Nasal vaccine delivery attenuates brain pathology and cognitive impairment in tauopathy model  mice" Hiroki Takeuchi, Keiko Imamura, Bin Ji, Kayoko Tsukita, Takako Enami, Keizo Takao, Tsuyoshi Miyakawa, Masato Hasegawa, Naruhiko Sahara, Nobuhisa Iwata, Makoto Inoue, Hideo Hara, Takeshi Tabira, Maiko Ono, John Q. Trojanowski, Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ryosuke Takahashi, Tetsuya Suhara, Makoto Higuchi, and Haruhisa Inoue, NPJ Vaccines (2020), doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41541-020-0172-y