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A step toward halting Alzheimer's: Using FDDNP PET to detect disease progression, MCI

SAN DIEGO, Calif.--By using positron emission tomography (PET) with the radiotracer 18F-FDDNP, UCLA scientists were able to detect increases in the brain pathology (of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles) associated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Their results were presented during SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 37 in San Diego.

"We have demonstrated that the worsening of memory and other cognitive functions is correlated with the increase of 18F-FDDNP brain binding in a progressive pattern closely matching the known pattern of pathology progression," explained Vladimir Kepe, assistant researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Our method is sensitive to detect the regional increases in pathology (or the nature of the disease) as well as spreading of pathology within the brain of the same person as the disease worsens over time," added the co-author of "Detection of MCI-AD and Control-MCI Conversions in Alzheimer's Disease Patients With [F-18]FDDNP PET."

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia among older people; it is a progressive, irreversible brain disorder with no known cause or cure. More than 4.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's and its symptoms of memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, personality changes, disorientation and loss of language skills. Alzheimer's disease is marked by progressive deterioration of memory and other cognitive functions (attention, language, reasoning, etc.) due to the cell loss in the vulnerable neuronal populations, which form brain circuitry responsible for these cognitive functions, said Kepe. In clinical settings, Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed based on performance in a variety of tests examining memory loss, language skills and other cognitive functions, but these tests offer only diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease, he said. For a definite diagnosis, a brain autopsy is necessary to detect the presen
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-708-9000
Society of Nuclear Medicine
5-Jun-2006


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