Research ArticleAlzheimer’s Disease

Prospective longitudinal atrophy in Alzheimer’s disease correlates with the intensity and topography of baseline tau-PET

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Science Translational Medicine  01 Jan 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 524, eaau5732
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau5732

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Predictive PET

Understanding the dynamic of the two major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), tau protein and β-amyloid, in the brain could allow better disease management. The use of positron emission tomography (PET) with specific radiotracers allows the visualization of tau-containing neurofibrillary tangles and β-amyloid plaques in vivo. Now, La Joie et al. performed longitudinal analysis of tau-PET and β-amyloid–PET in 32 patients with AD starting at early disease stage and correlated the signal with brain atrophy at later stages. In this cohort, tau-PET, but not β-amyloid–PET, signal could predict brain atrophy at later stages. Tau-PET might be useful for predicting disease progression and for designing and evaluating new therapies.

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