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Open Access Research article

123I-ADAM SPET imaging of serotonin transporter in patients with epilepsy and comorbid depression

Maarika Liik1*, Malle Paris2, Liina Vahter3, Katrin Gross-Paju3 and Sulev Haldre1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, University of Tartu, 8 L. Puusepa St., 51014 Tartu, Estonia

2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radiology Centre, Diagnostics Division, North Estonia Medical Centre, 19 J. Sütiste St., 13419 Tallinn, Estonia

3 Department of Neurology, West Tallinn Central Hospital, 68 Paldiski St., 10617 Tallinn, Estonia

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BMC Neurology 2013, 13:204  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-204

Published: 17 December 2013



Purpose of the study was to investigate alterations in midbrain serotonin transporter (SERT) binding in patients with epilepsy and symptoms of depression compared to patients with epilepsy with no symptoms of depression.


We studied 12 patients with epilepsy (7 patients had focal and 5 had generalized epilepsy syndromes). The presence of self-reported symptoms of depression was assessed using Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Emotional State Questionnaire (EST-Q). The binding potential of the SERT was assessed by performing brain single photon emission tomography (SPET) using the SERT radioligand 2-((2-((dimethylamino)methyl)phenyl)thio)-5-(123)iodophenylamine (123I-ADAM).


Seven patients had BDI and EST-Q subscale scores greater than 11 points, which was interpreted as the presence of symptoms of depression. We found that 123I-ADAM binding was not significantly different between patients with epilepsy with and without symptoms of depression. In addition, 123I-ADAM binding did not show a significant correlation to either BDI or EST-Q depression subscale scores and did not differ between patients with focal vs. generalized epilepsy.


The results of our study failed to demonstrate alterations of SERT binding properties in patients with epilepsy with or without symptoms of depression.

Epilepsy; Depression; Serotonin; Serotonin transporter; 123I-ADAM; SPET