A case study now confirms that tau PET images correspond to a higher degree to actual changes in the brain. According to the researchers behind the study, which was published in the journal Brain, this increases opportunities for developing effective drugs.

There are several different methods of producing images showing the changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The tau PET method reveals the presence of a protein in the brain, tau, with the help of a gamma camera and a specially selected radioactive molecule (F-AV-1451).

Until now, no one has had precise knowledge of how well the new imaging method reproduces the actual changes in a brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The current case study, however, shows that image and reality match up well. The study has enabled researchers to compare tau PET images and brain tissue from the same person for the first time. The brain tissue came from a person who died having recently undergone examination with the new imaging method.

The researchers behind the study are now focusing on tracking aggregation of tau in the brain over time and connections with diagnostics using spinal fluid samples.

Paper: “18F-AV-1451 tau PET imaging correlates strongly with tau neuropathology in MAPT mutation carriers”
Reprinted from materials provided by Lund University.

October 25, 2016