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 | Radiation Therapy

October 7, 2021 — NANOBIOTIX, a late-stage clinical biotechnology company pioneering physics-based approaches to expand ...

Time October 07, 2021
arrow
News | Radiation Therapy

October 7, 2021 — ViewRay, Inc. announced that the company has received acceptance from the FDA on their recent ...

Time October 07, 2021
arrow
Feature | Cardiac Imaging

October 6, 2021 – A new study published in Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging on cardiac imaging trends over a decade ...

Time October 06, 2021
arrow
News | Women's Health

October 5, 2021 — A promising radionuclide treatment may offer new therapeutic options for breast cancer patients ...

Time October 05, 2021
arrow
News | Breast Imaging
October 4, 2021 — A non-invasive, patient-friendly imaging technique can help physicians make treatment decisions for ...
Time October 04, 2021
arrow
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

September 20, 2021 — Gadolinium-based contrast agents, the gold standard in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to ...

Time September 20, 2021
arrow
News | Radiation Oncology

September 17, 2021 — IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A., EURONEXT), a world leader in particle accelerator technology, and ...

Time September 17, 2021
arrow
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers

September 17, 2021 — Blue Earth Diagnostics, a Bracco company and recognized leader in the development and ...

Time September 17, 2021
arrow
Feature | Nuclear Imaging | By Staff of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC)

A year after COVID-19 turned the world upside down, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) asked members how ...

Time September 16, 2021
arrow
Feature | PET Imaging | By Todd Sasser, Ph.D.

The use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in preclinical oncology investigations has shown the ability to ...

Time September 14, 2021
arrow
Subscribe Now