Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neuroimaging may shed light on how Alzheimer's disease develops

Date:
January 14, 2010
Source:
IOS Press
Summary:
Current Alzheimer's disease research indicates that accumulation of amyloid-beta (AB) protein plaques in the brain is central to the development of AD. While previously presence of these plaques could only be confirmed at autopsy. Positron emission tomography provides researchers with an opportunity to test the amyloid hypothesis as it occurs in living patients. A new study summarizes the results of experiments using the AB tracer Pittsburgh Compound-B.

Current Alzheimer's disease (AD) research indicates that accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) protein plaques in the brain is central to the development of AD. Unfortunately, presence of these plaques is typically confirmed only at autopsy. In a special issue of the journal Behavioural Neurology, researchers review the evidence that Positron emission tomography (PET) can image these plaques during life. This exciting new technique provides researchers with an opportunity to test the amyloid hypothesis as it occurs in living patients.

Related Articles


In a review article with over 100 references, Dr. Gil Rabinovici and Dr. William Jagust from the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley, summarize the results of experiments from their laboratories and others using the Aβ tracer Pittsburgh Compound-B (PIB). This compound binds to Aβ protein and allows the mapping of plaques in the brains of AD and non-AD volunteer subjects.

They report that PIB-PET can detect Aβ deposits in a significant proportion of cognitively normal older subjects and that these deposits are associated with brain atrophy even in the absence of cognitive symptoms. By the time patients develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) amyloid load in the brain appears to have reached a plateau. As patients progress to dementia, neurodegeneration and cognitive decline proceed independently of further amyloid accumulation.

The authors interpret these results as consistent with a model in which amyloid deposition plays a critical early role on the path to AD, beginning years before onset of symptoms and triggering a series of events which ultimately leads to cognitive decline and dementia.

While the use of PIB-PET is currently limited to research centers because of the compound's very short radioactive half-life (20 minutes), new amyloid imaging agents with longer half-lives are under development for more widespread use. Amyloid imaging is already playing an important role in the development of amyloid-based therapies for AD, and Dr. Rabinovici and Dr. Jagust speculate that in the future amyloid imaging will assist clinicians in identifying patients with mild or atypical symptoms who may be candidates for anti-amyloid treatments.

Writing in the article, the authors state, "PIB-PET has provided us with our first in vivo glance at the dynamic relationship between amyloid deposition, clinical symptoms, and structural and functional changes in the brain in the continuum between normal aging and AD…In the future, Aβ imaging will likely supplement clinical evaluation in selecting patients for anti-amyloid therapies both during drug development and in the clinic."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by IOS Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G.D. Rabinovici and W.J. Jagust. Amyloid imaging in aging and dementia: Testing the amyloid hypothesis in vivo. Behavioural Neurology, 2009; Vol. 21, Issues 1-2

Cite This Page:

IOS Press. "Neuroimaging may shed light on how Alzheimer's disease develops." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111102523.htm>.
IOS Press. (2010, January 14). Neuroimaging may shed light on how Alzheimer's disease develops. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111102523.htm
IOS Press. "Neuroimaging may shed light on how Alzheimer's disease develops." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111102523.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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