Imaging procedure detects Alzheimer's biomarker
Posted: 19 January 2011
WASHINGTON - A molecular imaging procedure can detect beta-amyloid in living people's brains - a biomarker also identified during autopsy to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer disease, a new study has found.
The development could help lead to better treatment and disgnosis of the disease, according to reserachers who published the findings in the January 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Christopher Clark of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals in Philadelphia and colleagues examined whether florbetapir F 18 PET imaging (positron scanner) performed during life accurately predicts the presence of beta-amyloid, linked to Alzheimer's, in the brain at autopsy.
Accumulation of the protein, which can be seen in autospy, is believed to play a role in the disease by forming plaque in some areas of the brain.
The plaque ultimately destroys neurons, leading to irreversible brain degeneration.
The disease currently affects 26 million people worldwide, including five million Americans, and is becoming more prevalent as seniors make up greater proportions of societies.
The article said: "Both diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD) are hampered by the lack of non-invasive biomarkers of the underlying pathology.
"Between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of patients clinically diagnosed with AD lack AD pathology at autopsy, and community physicians may not diagnose AD in 33 per cent of patients with mild signs and symptoms."
"The ability to identify and quantify brain beta-amyloid could increase the accuracy of a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer disease."
Still "the definitive relationship between the florbetapir-PET image and beta-amyloid deposition has not been established," the authors acknowledged.
Taken from ChannelNewsAsia.com; source article is below: Imaging procedure detects Alzheimer's biomarker