Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unraveling Alzheimer's: Clues May Be Found Visualizing Plaques In Human Brain, Mad Cow-type Diseases

Date:
June 12, 2006
Source:
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Summary:
An exciting new tracer allows visualization of abnormal protein deposits -- called amyloid plaques -- in human diseases like Alzheimer's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob and in prion diseases in animals like scrapie (similar to mad cow disease), according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and CHRU Tours in France.

An exciting new tracer allows visualization of abnormal protein deposits—called amyloid plaques—in human diseases like Alzheimer’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob and in prion diseases in animals like scrapie (similar to mad cow disease), according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and CHRU Tours in France. Their results were presented June 3–7 during SNM’s 53rd Annual Meeting in San Diego.

“This amyloid tracer IMPY—which detects amyloid plaques in the human brain—provides an excellent starting point for parallel research in humans and animals,” said Denis Guilloteau, a biophysics professor and radiopharmacist in the nuclear medicine department of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Tours (CHRU) in France. “With IMPY, we were able to visualize abnormal protein in both neurodegenerative diseases—Alzheimer’s and scrapie—and this could provide new directions for future research,” he added. There are similarities between the loss of brain function in prion diseases and in Alzheimer’s disease, and an understanding of prion diseases will add to the understanding of what happens to the brain with Alzheimer’s disease, explained the co-author of “IMPY, a Beta-Amyloid Imaging Probe for Prion Detection.” In addition, the tracer may be used for research in the veterinary field, he noted.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, irreversible brain disorder with no known cause or cure. Symptoms may include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, disorientation and loss of language skills. More than 4.5 million Americans are believed to have Alzheimer’s disease, and by 2050, the number could increase to 13.2 million.

Prions are abnormal, transmissible agents—with no DNA—that are able to induce abnormal folding of normal cellular prion proteins in the brain, leading to brain damage and the characteristic signs and symptoms of the disease. Prions cause a number of rare progressive neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans and animals, and the diseases are usually rapidly progressive and always fatal. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare, degenerative human brain disorder. Scrapie is a degenerative disease that affects the nervous systems of sheep and goats, and it is related to mad cow disease. Currently, a brain autopsy is necessary to obtain a definite diagnosis for Alzheimer’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob. Guilloteau noted that investigating the prion animal diseases could form a model for future research in human disease. “It is important to study human neurodegenerative diseases and animal prion diseases in parallel,” he said.

Developing molecular agents such as IMPY may be useful for diagnosis and monitoring the progression of Alzheimer’s, noted Guilloteau. “The beta-amyloid tracer—developed by University of Pennsylvania researchers—is a very promising tool that may be used to discern an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), an imaging method available in many hospitals,” he added.

In the study, researchers used radioiodinated IMPY to bind to prion deposits in infected mice brain sections. Autoradiography, a procedure where an image is produced on photographic film by the radiation from a radioactive substance, showed a good visualization of these prion deposits, said Guilloteau. Major accumulations of radioactivity were seen in the cortex, colliculus, hippocampus, thalamus, cerebellum and pons. “Additional work needs to focus on the progression of disease in our animal model in vivo, and we must correlate the images with clinical symptoms,” he added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society of Nuclear Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society of Nuclear Medicine. "Unraveling Alzheimer's: Clues May Be Found Visualizing Plaques In Human Brain, Mad Cow-type Diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060612082042.htm>.
Society of Nuclear Medicine. (2006, June 12). Unraveling Alzheimer's: Clues May Be Found Visualizing Plaques In Human Brain, Mad Cow-type Diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060612082042.htm
Society of Nuclear Medicine. "Unraveling Alzheimer's: Clues May Be Found Visualizing Plaques In Human Brain, Mad Cow-type Diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060612082042.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins