A novel positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer has been shown to effectively measure increases in brain tau—a distinguishing characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease—before any symptoms of the disease are observed.

Figure 1. Tau accumulation over one year measured in composite A) mesial temporal ROI; and B) temporoparietal ROI in cognitively unimpaired participants (blue) and cognitively impaired participants (red). The CI group included participants with clinical mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Higher rates of tau accumulation were observed in participants on the AD continuum (CU Aβ+ve and CI Aβ+ve). Participants with the highest baseline tau and rates of tau accumulation were younger and more likely to be CI Aβ+ve. Image courtesy of SNMMI


June 16, 2021 — A novel positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer has been shown to effectively measure increases in brain tau—a distinguishing characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease—before any symptoms of the disease are observed. With the potential to measure increases in tau over a long period of time, this tracer offers an important tool to assess the effectiveness of Alzheimer’s disease treatments in clinical trials. This research was presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2021 Annual Meeting.

Tau is a protein commonly found in healthy brain neurons. In people with certain brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease, chemical changes cause tau proteins to accumulate in various parts of the brain. As such, tau is valuable as a biomarker for measuring disease progression.

In the study, researchers sought to detect patterns and rates of tau accumulation in both a cognitively normal aging population and in those with Alzheimer’s disease. PET imaging with the novel radiotracer 18F-MK6240 was performed on all participants at baseline and after 12 months. After each scan, uptake of the radiotracer was measured in multiple areas of the brain.

Increases in tau were measured in both participant groups and longitudinal tau imaging was effective in discriminating between the two cohorts. The uptake of 18F-MK6240 was higher at baseline and after one year in participants who were on the Alzheimer’s disease continuum in comparison to the cognitively normal aging participants.

“The effectiveness of the 18F-MK6240 tracer is important for drug trials that aim to measure whether or not treatments to remove tau from the brain are actually working,” said Christopher Rowe, BMBS, FRACP, MD, FAANMS, director of molecular imaging research at Austin Health and director of the Australian Dementia Network in Melbourne, Australia. “Use of the radiotracer will allow researchers to select people at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease for clinical trials, which ultimately may speed the development of effective treatments for the disease.”

For more information: www.snmmi.org

More news from SNMMI21 can be found here

Related Alzheimers' content:

VIDEO: Researchers Use MRI to Predict Alzheimer's Disease

Brain Iron Accumulation Linked to Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Patients

Good Results for Alzheimer’s Imaging Agent

NIH Augments Large Scale Study of Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarkers

Alzheimer’s Association Launches New Website for IDEAS Study

PET Tracer Gauges Effectiveness of Promising Alzheimer's Treatment

New Super-resolution Technique Allows for More Detailed Brain Imaging

Related Content

News | Proton Therapy

August 19, 2022 — IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A., EURONEXT), a world leader in particle accelerator technology and the ...

Time August 19, 2022
arrow
News | SNMMI

August 16, 2022 — Mike Crosby of San Diego, California, has been elected to a two-year term as vice chair of the Patient ...

Time August 16, 2022
arrow
Feature | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | Christine Book

August 10, 2022 — The imaging community has lost a legend, recognized for having revolutionized the field of diagnostic ...

Time August 10, 2022
arrow
News | Nuclear Imaging

July 27, 2022 — Patients for Safer Nuclear Medicine, a coalition of 29 patient advocacy organizations representing ...

Time July 27, 2022
arrow
News | Breast Imaging

July 21, 2022 — According to ARRS’ American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), understanding the likelihood of malignancy ...

Time July 22, 2022
arrow
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers

July 20, 2022 — -NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, a global innovator in the development, production and ...

Time July 20, 2022
arrow
News | PET Imaging

July 19, 2022 — Radialis Inc. today announced that it has received clearance to market the Radialis PET Imager, an organ ...

Time July 19, 2022
arrow
News | Contrast Media

July 18, 2022 — Fresenius Kabi announced today it will introduce a portfolio of generic contrast media agents in the ...

Time July 18, 2022
arrow
News | Molecular Imaging

July 11, 2022 — The "Molecular Imaging Market, by Application (Cancer, Heart Disease, Brain Disorder), by Technology ...

Time July 12, 2022
arrow
News | PET-CT

July 11, 2022 – The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular ...

Time July 11, 2022
arrow
Subscribe Now