Imaging technology for Neurodegenerative diseases - Progress toward detection of specific pathologies

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
JAMA Neurology (Impact Factor: 7.01). 03/2005; 62(2):196-200. DOI: 10.1001/archneur.62.2.196
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Advances in neuroimaging over the past 2 decades are products of breakthroughs in imaging technology, developments of more powerful computers and image-processing software, and expanding knowledge in basic and clinical neuroscience. In addition to the insights into normal brain structure and function that such methods provide and the information that can be gained from disease-related changes in structure and function, the promise of achieving diagnostic specificity through neuroimaging lies with the potential identification of pathognomonic proteins. Recent advances in imaging beta-amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer disease, offer such a technological breakthrough and the possibility for more efficient assessment of antiamyloid interventions as well as specific noninvasive diagnostic capabilities.

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    • "So far, the most successful molecules have been those with a relatively low molecular weight (Figure 2) (Mathis et al., 2005). It has been shown that some benzimidazole and quinoline derivatives tag aggregated forms of tau in vitro and in the context of human brain (Mathis et al., 2005; Okamura et al., 2004; Okamura et al., 2005; Rojo et al., 2007a). This could serve as the milestone for developing neuroimaging technologies to visualize NFTs in the brain of AD patients and those affected with mild cognitive impairments (MCI). "
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    • "In this context , several publications have demonstrated that cerebral amyloid aggregates, may not continue to accumulate during AD progress, and thus the amount of SP observed at any time point (including the autopsy) may reflect a competing processes of deposition and resolution of amyloid aggregates . These finding could explain why the PIB-compound and other similar PS-selective technologies are not been widely accepted in the clinical setting as radiotracers for AD, even after almost seven years of its pioneer clinical trial [21]. According to a recent clinical study on PIB imaging [36], AD diagnosis would be "…possible" but not "probable" and certainly not "definite..." if it is based on SP-selective radiotracers , such as PIB compound and others Fig. (1). "
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    • "Recent success in developing radionuclide-labeled agents targeting the Ab aggregates provides a window of opportunity to improve the diagnosis of AD (Klunk et al., 2004; Mathis et al., 2005). Positron emission tomography (PET), a common nuclear imaging modality, can provide functional information on the pathophysiological processes of AD. "
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