Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fluorescent compounds allow clinicians to visualize Alzheimer's disease as it progresses

Date:
September 18, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
What if doctors could visualize all of the processes that take place in the brain during the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease? Such a window would provide a powerful aid for diagnosing the condition. Now, researchers have developed a new class of imaging agents that enables them to visualize tau protein aggregates, a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders, directly in the brains of living patients.

What if doctors could visualize all of the processes that take place in the brain during the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease? Such a window would provide a powerful aid for diagnosing the condition, monitoring the effectiveness of treatments, and testing new preventive and therapeutic agents. Now, researchers reporting in the September 18 issue of the Cell Press journal Neuron have developed a new class of imaging agents that enables them to visualize tau protein aggregates, a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders, directly in the brains of living patients.

Related Articles


In the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, tau proteins aggregate together and become tangled, while fragments of another protein, called amyloid beta, accumulate into deposits or plaques. Tau tangles are not only considered an important marker of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease but are also a hallmark of non-Alzheimer's neurodegenerative disorders, tauopathies that do not involve amyloid beta plaques. While imaging technologies have been developed to observe the spread of amyloid beta plaques in patients' brains, tau tangles were previously not easily monitored in the living patient.

In this latest research in mice and humans, investigators developed fluorescent compounds that bind to tau (called PBBs) and used them in positron emission tomography (PET) tests to correlate the spread of tau tangles in the brain with moderate Alzheimer's disease progression. "PET images of tau accumulation are highly complementary to images of senile amyloid beta plaques and provide robust information on brain regions developing or at risk for tau-induced neuronal death," says senior author Dr. Makoto Higuchi, of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan. "This is of critical significance, as tau lesions are known to be more intimately associated with neuronal loss than senile plaques."

The advance may also be helpful for diagnosing, monitoring, and treating other neurological conditions because tau tangles are not limited to Alzheimer's disease but also play a role in various types of dementias and movement disorders.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Masahiro Maruyama, Hitoshi Shimada, Tetsuya Suhara, Hitoshi Shinotoh, Bin Ji, Jun Maeda, Ming-Rong Zhang, JohnQ. Trojanowski, VirginiaM.-Y. Lee, Maiko Ono, Kazuto Masamoto, Harumasa Takano, Naruhiko Sahara, Nobuhisa Iwata, Nobuyuki Okamura, Shozo Furumoto, Yukitsuka Kudo, Qing Chang, TakaomiC. Saido, Akihiko Takashima, Jada Lewis, Ming-Kuei Jang, Ichio Aoki, Hiroshi Ito, Makoto Higuchi. Imaging of Tau Pathology in a Tauopathy Mouse Model and in Alzheimer Patients Compared to Normal Controls. Neuron, 2013; 79 (6): 1094 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.07.037

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Fluorescent compounds allow clinicians to visualize Alzheimer's disease as it progresses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918130638.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, September 18). Fluorescent compounds allow clinicians to visualize Alzheimer's disease as it progresses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918130638.htm
Cell Press. "Fluorescent compounds allow clinicians to visualize Alzheimer's disease as it progresses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918130638.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
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