Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecular imaging detects first signs of Alzheimer's disease

Date:
June 14, 2010
Source:
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Summary:
Research is furthering efforts to use molecular imaging as a means of early detection of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers are striving to detect the disease as early as possible by imaging the formation of a naturally-occurring protein in the brain called beta-amyloid, which is thought to be closely linked to disease onset.

Research revealed at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 57th Annual Meeting is furthering efforts to use molecular imaging as a means of early detection of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers are striving to detect the disease as early as possible by imaging the formation of a naturally-occurring protein in the brain called beta-amyloid, which is thought to be closely linked to disease onset.

"Molecular imaging of amyloid build-up in the brain will improve the accuracy of diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and allow physicians to diagnose and treat this chronic disease early on," said Christopher Rowe, M.D., study investigator and professor of nuclear medicine, Austin Hospital, Victoria, Australia. "In the future, the development of an effective anti-amyloid drug may be able to stop the development of dementia if given early, before extensive brain damage in patients has occurred."

Alzheimer's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that kills major centers of the brain controlling memory, language and essential bodily functions. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but early diagnosis will increase a patient's chance of effective treatment once a new drug or other therapy is developed to treat the disease.

In the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study of aging (AIBL), one of the largest of its kind, researchers in Melbourne and Perth used positron emission tomography (PET), a molecular imaging technique, to detect the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. The study involved more than 200 elderly participants, including 34 with known Alzheimer's disease and 57 with mild cognitive impairment. Subjects had PET scans using 11C Pittsburgh Compound-B (11C-PIB), a PET imaging agent that binds to beta-amyloid in neural tissues. Results of the two-year study showed that beta-amyloid plaque builds slowly over time, and extensive build-up of the protein preceded cognitive impairment and was associated with 13 times the level of risk of progressing to Alzheimer's disease within 20 months. Researchers found that development of the disease could begin as early as 10 years before signs of dementia. Patients with a strong family history of Alzheimer's or who show mild signs of memory loss could be screened for the development of the disease in order to help them plan for the future. This imaging technique could also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments as they become available.

The risk of Alzheimer's disease increases steadily with age, affecting an estimated 25 percent of people aged 85. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 18 million people are currently living with Alzheimer's disease worldwide -- a number projected to almost double by 2025.

Scientific Paper 383: V.L. Villemagne, K. Pike, R.S. Mulligan, G. Jones, C.C. Rowe, Centre for PET, Austin Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; K.A. Ellis, Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; P. Bourgeat, O. Salvado, CSIRO Preventative Health National Research Flagship, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; D. Ames, National Ageing Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; C.L. Masters, The Mental Health Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; "Longitudinal assessment of Aβ burden and cognition with 11C-PiB PET in aging and Alzheimer's disease," SNM's 57th Annual Meeting, June 5-9, 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah.


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. "Molecular imaging detects first signs of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607142051.htm>.
Society of Nuclear Medicine. (2010, June 14). Molecular imaging detects first signs of Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607142051.htm
Society of Nuclear Medicine. "Molecular imaging detects first signs of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607142051.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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