Prof. J. Booij, MD, PhD

Research line on neuroreceptor imaging in nuclear medicine

Research line

Our clinical research is focused on neuroreceptor imaging with techniques like positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in neuropsychiatric and metabolic disorders. We apply these techniques to study dopaminergic degeneration in neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease (see figure), and the role of dopamine in psychosis and metabolic disorders including obesity and diabetes. We have a special interest in identifying groups at risk to develop dopaminergic neurodegenerative diseases or psychosis in order to better understand the underlying mechanism and in the long run to enable treatment in an early disease stage. Further, we examine the role of the dopaminergic, glutamatergic and GABAergic systems to predict treatment response to antipsychotics in psychotic patients. We combine neuroreceptor imaging with MRI techniques, such as neuromelanin MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, pharmacological and functional MRI.

Our past work also included imaging of the role of the muscarinic and serotonergic system in psychosis, depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

DAT imaging ([123I]FP-CIT SPECT) performed in a patient suffering from Parkinson’s disease (left panel) and a healthy control (right). Transversal slices at the level of the striatum are shown. Please note the loss of DAT binding in the patient, particularly in the right striatum, which reflects loss of dopaminergic neurons. This study is performed at the AMC on a brain-dedicated SPECT system. [123I]FP-CIT is derived from cocaine, and may bind preferentially to the outward-facing DAT conformation.  


Research team


Prof. dr. Jan Booij (PI)  

Dr. Elsmarieke van de Giessen


PhD students

Marieke van der Pluijm

Katy van Galen

Carmen van Hooijdonk

Monja Hoven

Sven Suwijn


Key publications

van Duin EDA, Ceccarini J, Booij J, et al., Lower [18F] fallypride binding to dopamine D2/3 receptors in frontal brain areas in adults with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome: a positron emission tomography study. Psychol Med. 2020;50(5):799-807

Weinstein JJ, van de Giessen E, Rosengard RJ, et al., PET imaging of dopamine-D2 receptor internalization in schizophrenia. Mol Psychiatry. 2018;23(6):1506-1511.

Ter Horst KW, Lammers NM, Trinko R, Opland DM, Figee M, Ackermans MT, Booij J, et al.,

Striatal dopamine regulates systemic glucose metabolism in humans and mice. Sci Transl Med. 2018;10(442).

Boot E, Butcher NJ, Udow S, ….Booij J, Lang AE, Bassett AS; International Research Group on 22q11.2DS-associated Parkinson's Disease. Typical features of Parkinson disease and diagnostic challenges with microdeletion 22q11.2. Neurology. 2018;90(23):e2059-e2067.

Joling M, van den Heuvel OA, Berendse HW, Booij J, Vriend C. Serotonin transporter binding and anxiety symptoms in Parkinson's disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2018;89(1):89-94

van de Giessen E, Weinstein JJ, Cassidy CM, et al., Deficits in striatal dopamine release in cannabis dependence. Mol Psychiatry. 2017;22(1):68-75.

Booij J, Dubroff J, Pryma D, Yu J, Agarwal R, Lakhani P, Kuo PH. Diagnostic Performance of the Visual Reading of 123I-Ioflupane SPECT Images With or Without Quantification in Patients With Movement Disorders or Dementia. J Nucl Med. 2017;58(11):1821-1826.

Zoons E, Tijssen MAJ, Dreissen YEM, Speelman JD, Smit M, Booij J. The relationship between the dopaminergic system and depressive symptoms in cervical dystonia. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017;44(8):1375-1382.

Slifstein M, van de Giessen E, Van Snellenberg J, et al., Deficits in prefrontal cortical and extrastriatal dopamine release in schizophrenia: a positron emission tomographic functional magnetic resonance imaging study. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(4):316-24

Gevonden MBooij Jvan den Brink WHeijtel Dvan Os JSelten JP. Increased release of dopamine in the striata of young adults with hearing impairment and its relevance for the social defeat hypothesis of schizophrenia. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(12):1364-72.