News | PET Imaging | July 16, 2020

SNMMI Image of the Year Features Super-agers

Super-agers show resistance to tau and amyloid accumulation

Tau (blue) and amyloid (orange) distribution patterns for super-agers, normal-agers and MCI patients, when compared to a group of younger, healthy, cognitively normal, amyloid-negative individuals. Brain projections are depicted at an uncorrected significance level of p < .0001. Color bars represent the respective t-statistic. Image courtesy of Merle C. Hoenig, Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine II - Molecular Organization of the Brain, Research Center Juelich, Juelich, Germany, and Department of Nucle

Tau (blue) and amyloid (orange) distribution patterns for super-agers, normal-agers and MCI patients, when compared to a group of younger, healthy, cognitively normal, amyloid-negative individuals. Brain projections are depicted at an uncorrected significance level of p < .0001. Color bars represent the respective t-statistic. Image courtesy of Merle C. Hoenig, Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine II - Molecular Organization of the Brain, Research Center Juelich, Juelich, Germany, and Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

July 16, 2020 — Super-agers, or individuals whose cognitive skills are above the norm even at an advanced age, have been found to have increased resistance to tau and amyloid proteins, according to research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2020 Annual Meeting. An analysis of positron emission tomography (PET) scans has shown that compared to normal-agers and those with mild cognitive impairment, super-agers have a lower burden of tau and amyloid pathology associated with neurodegeneration, which probably allows them to maintain their cognitive performance. An image showing the comparison of tau and amyloid distribution patterns in these different cognitive aging trajectories has been selected as SNMMI's 2020 Image of the Year.

"Our cognition reflects who we are as individuals. As we age, most of us lose some of that ability," said SNMMI's Scientific Program Committee chair, Umar Mahmood, M.D., Ph.D. "The Image of the Year provides us with insight into how we can use these PET imaging biomarkers to understand behaviors and therapies that may allow more of us age better and retain more of our cognitive abilities as we get older."

Each year, SNMMI chooses an image that best exemplifies the most promising advances in the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. The state-of-the-art technologies captured in these images demonstrate the capacity to improve patient care by detecting disease, aiding diagnosis, improving clinical confidence and providing a means of selecting appropriate treatments. This year, the SNMMI Henry N. Wagner, Jr., M.D., Image of the Year was chosen from more than two thousand abstracts submitted to the meeting and voted on by reviewers and the society leadership.

"The phenomenon of super-aging suggests that cognitively high-functioning individuals have extraordinary mechanisms that resist brain aging processes and neurodegeneration," said Merle Hoenig, M.D., Research Center Juelich & University Hospital Cologne, Germany. Some insights have been collected on amyloid pathology in super-agers, but there is no in vivo evidence on tau pathology due to the former lack of available imaging techniques. "We know that tau pathology is more closely associated with cognitive decline than amyloid pathology," Hoenig continued, "thus, the resistance, in particular against tau pathology, likely allows these individuals to perform cognitively above average even at advanced age."

Data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative was utilized to create three age- and education-matched groups of 25 super-agers, 25 normal-agers and 25 patients with mild cognitive impairment, all above 80 years old. In addition, 18 younger, cognitively normal, amyloid-negative controls were included in the comparison as a reference group. 18F-AV-1451 and 18F-AV-45 PET images obtained for all individuals and researchers compared the tau and amyloid burden between the four groups. A logistic regression was performed to identify genetic and pathophysiological factors best predicting aging processes.

No significant differences between super-agers and the younger control group were observed in terms of in vivo tau and amyloid burden. The normal-ager group exhibited tau burden in inferior temporal and precuneal areas and no significant differences in amyloid burden, when compared to the younger control group. Patients with mild cognitive impairment showed both high amyloid and high tau pathology burden. Differences in amyloid burden dissociated the normal-agers from those with mild cognitive impairment, whereas lower tau burden and lower polygenic risk predicted super-agers from mild cognitive impairment patients.

"While super-agers may be able to resist aging-associated proteinopathies, in particular tau pathology, normal-agers may not and are thus exposed to inevitable cognitive decline due to the accumulation of neurotoxic tau tangles and the advancing aging process," noted Hoenig. "Moving further to the other extreme of aging, namely mild cognitive impairment, the synergistic effects of both amyloid and tau may accelerate the pathological aging process."

These results motivate further research to determine responsible resistance factors, which may also inspire the development of novel treatment concepts. "Given the multitude of factors involved in the aging process, it will certainly be challenging to develop therapeutics to tackle the factors involved. However, if we understand which individuals are resistant to dementia, this will help us identify potential pathways that promote successful aging--protecting against not only Alzheimer's disease but also other aging-associated diseases, such as vascular disease and other forms of dementia," said Hoenig.

For more information: www.snmmi.org

Related SNMMI20 Content:

SNMMI Channel

Molecular Imaging Identifies Link Between Heart and Kidney Inflammation After Heart Attack

PSMA PET/CT Can Change Management in Recurrent Prostate Cancer

Total-body Dynamic PET Successfully Detects Metastatic Cancer

New PET Radiotracer Proven Safe in Imaging Malignant Brain Tumors

Targeted Radionuclide Therapy Enhances Prostate Cancer Response to Immunotherapies

New PET/MRI Approach Pinpoints Chronic Pain Location, Alters Management

Related Content

PSMA PET/CT accurately detects recurrent prostate cancer in 67-year-old man. 18F-DCFPyL-PSMA PET/CT shows extensive, intensely PSMA-avid local recurrence in prostate (bottom row; solid arrow) in keeping with the known tumor recurrence in the prostate. Right: PET shows extensive, intensely PSMA-avid local recurrence in prostate (top row; solid arrow) and a solitary bone metastasis in left rib 2 (bottom row; dotted arrow). Image courtesy of Ur Metser, et al.

PSMA PET/CT accurately detects recurrent prostate cancer in 67-year-old man. 18F-DCFPyL-PSMA PET/CT shows extensive, intensely PSMA-avid local recurrence in prostate (bottom row; solid arrow) in keeping with the known tumor recurrence in the prostate. Right: PET shows extensive, intensely PSMA-avid local recurrence in prostate (top row; solid arrow) and a solitary bone metastasis in left rib 2 (bottom row; dotted arrow). Image courtesy of Ur Metser, et al.

News | PET-CT | July 16, 2020
July 16, 2020 — New research confirms the high impact of...
Total-body dynamic 18F-FDG PET imaging with the uEXPLORER scanner allows us to monitor the spatiotemporal distribution of glucose concentration in metastatic tumors in the entire body (a). As compared to a typical clinical standardized uptake value image (b), the parametric image of FDG influx rate (Ki) can achieve higher lesion-to-background (e.g., the liver) contrast. In addition to glucose metabolism imaging by Ki, total-body dynamic PET also enables multiparametric characterization of tumors and organs

Total-body dynamic 18F-FDG PET imaging with the uEXPLORER scanner allows us to monitor the spatiotemporal distribution of glucose concentration in metastatic tumors in the entire body (a). As compared to a typical clinical standardized uptake value image (b), the parametric image of FDG influx rate (Ki) can achieve higher lesion-to-background (e.g., the liver) contrast. In addition to glucose metabolism imaging by Ki, total-body dynamic PET also enables multiparametric characterization of tumors and organs using additional physiologically important parameters, for example, glucose transport rate K1 (d), across the entire body. Image courtesy of G.B. Wang, M. Parikh, L. Nardo, et al., University of California Davis, Calif.

News | PET Imaging | July 16, 2020
July 16, 2020 — Results from the first...
PET/CT imaging showing uptake and retention of 86Y-NM600 (imaging agent) in immunocompetent mice bearing prostate tumors. PET imaging data was employed to estimate tumor dosimetry and prescribe an immunomodulatory 90Y-NM600 (therapy agent) injected activity. Image courtesy of R Hernandez et al., University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI.

PET/CT imaging showing uptake and retention of 86Y-NM600 (imaging agent) in immunocompetent mice bearing prostate tumors. PET imaging data was employed to estimate tumor dosimetry and prescribe an immunomodulatory 90Y-NM600 (therapy agent) injected activity. Image courtesy of R Hernandez et al., University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI.

News | PET-CT | July 15, 2020
July 15, 2020 — ...
Representative maximum-intensity projection PET images of a healthy human volunteer injected with 64Cu-NOTA-EB-RGD at 1, 8, and 24 hours after injection. Axial MRI and PET slices of glioblastoma patient injected with 64Cu-NOTA-EB-RGD at different time points after injection. Image courtesy of Jingjing Zhang et al., Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China/ Xiaoyuan Chen et al., Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine, NIBIB/NIH, Bethesda, USA

Representative maximum-intensity projection PET images of a healthy human volunteer injected with 64Cu-NOTA-EB-RGD at 1, 8, and 24 hours after injection. Axial MRI and PET slices of glioblastoma patient injected with 64Cu-NOTA-EB-RGD at different time points after injection. Image courtesy of Jingjing Zhang et al., Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China/ Xiaoyuan Chen et al., Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine, NIBIB/NIH, Bethesda, USA

News | PET Imaging | July 15, 2020
July 15, 2020 — A first-in-human study presented at the Society of...
Adult male with decades of right neck pain, discomfort and tightening following birth injury. The patient had failed multiple standard therapeutic maneuvers before presenting for 18F-FDG PET/MR imaging. Images shows abnormally elevated FDG uptake (white arrows; SUVmax = 1.2) observed in a linear pattern in the space in the posterolateral right neck, between the oblique capitis inferior and the semispinalis capitis muscles, where the greater occipital nerve resides. By comparison, the same region on the cont

Adult male with decades of right neck pain, discomfort and tightening following birth injury. The patient had failed multiple standard therapeutic maneuvers before presenting for 18F-FDG PET/MR imaging. Images shows abnormally elevated FDG uptake (white arrows; SUVmax = 1.2) observed in a linear pattern in the space in the posterolateral right neck, between the oblique capitis inferior and the semispinalis capitis muscles, where the greater occipital nerve resides. By comparison, the same region on the contralateral, asymptomatic side of the neck has an SUVmax = 0.7. This result encouraged a surgeon to explore the area. The surgeon ultimately found a collection of small arteries wrapped around the nerve in this location. The small arteries underwent lysis by the surgeon and the patient reported tremendous relief of symptoms. (A) Coronal thick slab MIP of 18F-FDG PET. (B) Axial LAVA FLEX MRI through the cervical spine. (C) Axial PET at the same slice as the axial MRI. (D) Fused axial PET/MRI. Image courtesy of Cipriano, et al., Stanford University, CA.

News | SNMMI | July 14, 2020
July 14, 2020 — A new molecular imaging approach utilizing 18F-FDG...
Left: Total-body PET/CT in psoriatic arthritis: multiple joints affected, shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles and small joints of the hands/feet. Arrow: left wrist; arrowhead: right wrist. Middle: Total-body PET/CT in rheumatoid arthritis: multiple joints affected, right shoulder, small joints of the left hand. Arrowhead at the 4th proximal interphalangeal joint shows classic ring-like uptake pattern. Arrow on the foot images demonstrates the hammer toe deformity besides big toe arthritis. Right: Total

Left: Total-body PET/CT in psoriatic arthritis: multiple joints affected, shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles and small joints of the hands/feet. Arrow: left wrist; arrowhead: right wrist. Middle: Total-body PET/CT in rheumatoid arthritis: multiple joints affected, right shoulder, small joints of the left hand. Arrowhead at the 4th proximal interphalangeal joint shows classic ring-like uptake pattern. Arrow on the foot images demonstrates the hammer toe deformity besides big toe arthritis. Right: Total-body PET/CT in osteoarthritis: affected joints include the left elbow, right knee (arrow) and right big toe (arrowhead). Image courtesy of YG Abdelhafez et al., University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA.

News | SNMMI | July 14, 2020
July 14, 2020 — For the first time, physicians can examine the systemic burden of inflammatory arthritis simultaneous
World's largest radiation oncology meeting will offer full conference on interactive platform October 25-28, 2020
News | ASTRO | July 09, 2020
July 9, 2020 — Registration opens today for the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (...
Nuclear Cardiology Optimistic About Return to Pre-COVID-19 Exam Levels. An American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) member survey are confident nuclear cardiology volumes will return to pre-pandemic levels. #COVID19 #SARScov2
News | Nuclear Imaging | June 01, 2020
June 1, 2020 — While acknowledging the challenges their specialty is facing, more than two-thirds of respondents to a
The FDA has approved Lilly’s TAUVID (flortaucipir F 18 injection), a radioactive diagnostic agent, for PET imaging of the brain to estimate the density and distribution of aggregated tau neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in adult patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease

Getty Images

News | Contrast Media | June 01, 2020
June 1, 2020 — TAUVID, a radioactive diagnostic agent, has been approved by the FDA for...