A class of binding ligands for cocaine receptors and other receptors in
the brain. Specifically, a novel family of compounds shows high binding
specificity and activity, and, in a radiolabeled form, can be used to
bind to these receptors, for biochemical assays and imaging techniques.
Such imaging is useful for determining effective doses of new drug
candidates in human populations. In addition, the high specificity, slow
onset and long duration of the action of these compounds at the receptors
makes them particularly well suited for therapeutic uses, for example as
substitute medication for psychostimulant abuse. Some of these compounds
may be useful in treating Parkinson's Disease or depression, by virtue of
their inhibitory properties at monoamine transporters.