Research ArticleTraumatic Brain Injury

In vivo detection of cerebral tau pathology in long-term survivors of traumatic brain injury

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Science Translational Medicine  04 Sep 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 508, eaaw1993
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaw1993

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Imaging long-lasting deposition

Positron emission tomography (PET) using the radioligand for tau protein flortaucipir is a recently developed noninvasive method for measuring tau protein deposition. Although traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been associated with increased tau in postmortem samples, the long-term effects of a single TBI on tau deposition and its relationship with brain damage is unclear. Now, Gorgoraptis et al. reported increased flortaucipir signal (index of increased tau deposition) in long-term TBI survivors compared to healthy controls. Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of neurodegeneration and white matter damage correlated with flortaucipir signal, suggesting that flortaucipir PET imaging might be useful for diagnosis and prognostication of neuronal damage after TBI.

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