Positron Emission Tomography Centre

Parkinson's and Dementia

Parkinson's and Dementia


The wide-ranging programme of investigation involves a core of around 200 researchers and postgraduate students, researching Alzheimer's Disease.

In addition, some indications for PET are noted in the Royal College of Physicians publication, Evidence-based indications for the use of PET-CT in the United Kingdom 2016. FDG-PET for evaluation of memory loss and neurological signs and differentiation of types of dementia in selected patients. FDOPA-PET may be useful in the assessment of Parkinsons disease in specialised centres.

Funded projects that are ready to run include: 

  • Cholinergic dysfunction in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) measured with FEOBV PET – John-Paul Taylor MRCPsych is Professor of Translational Dementia Research and is studying the neurobiological basis for cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms in DLB including the origins of cognitive fluctuations and visual hallucinations using EEG, MRI and PET. He is funded by the Newcastle BRC, the MRC and Alzheimer Research UK.
  • The pathophysiology of parkinsonian syndromes and REM sleep behaviour disorder using FDG and FEOBV PET-MRI.  Nicola Pavesi MD PhD is Professor of Neurology and Head of the Clinical Aging Research Unit (CARU) at NU. He is an expert on movement disorders and the use of deep brain stimulation and runs clinical trials of novel treatments. He is funded by the Michael J Fox Foundation, Parkinsons UK, and the Multiple System Atrophy Association.
  • The role of microglial activation in driving prodromal and clinically established Dementia with Lewy Body cases using 18F-DPA714 PET a marker of translocator protein - Dr Paul Donaghy has an MRC Fellowship.



  • Firbank MJ, Yarnall AJ, Lawson RA, Duncan GW, Khoo TK, Petrides GS, O'Brien JT, Barker RA, Maxwell RJ, Brooks DJ, Burn DJ. Cerebral glucose metabolism and cognition in newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease: ICICLE-PD study. Mov Disord 2017;88:310-316. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2016-313918