Tracing the impact of amyloid beta in mild cognitive impairment

January 15, 2013, BioMed Central
It should just say that in two woman of the same age with similar memory complaints, one (top images) has no evidence of amyloid plaques while the other (bottom row) has extensive amyloid plaques (red and yellow areas) in the cortex around the edge of the brain indicating the presence of Alzheimer's disease. Credit: Christopher Rowe and Victor Villemagne

The amount of amyloid β (Aβ) in the brains of people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is contributing to early memory loss, and increases with severity of symptoms, finds a study in BioMed Central's open access journal Alzheimer's Research & Therapy. The non-invasive study which used 18F-florbetaben to find Aβ plaques in brain scans to also show that in MCI the affect of Aβ on memory loss is independent of other aspects of mental decline.

Positron emission tomography (PET) has previously relied on carbon-11 labeling of Aβ, however this study uses 18F-florbetaben which can be used for longer and allow more patients to be scanned at lower cost. A higher than normal amount of Aβ was found in half of the PET scans of people with MCI. Interestingly there was a strong association between Aβ and , but not with other features of neurodegeneration, such as hippocampal atrophy or the white matter hyperintensities frequently seen on MRI later in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Prof Christopher Rowe, from Austin Health, Australia and the University of Melbourne, who led the study explained why it is important, "MCI is thought to affect between one in five and one in ten of all adults over the age of 65, and, although some of these will go on to develop dementia within a few years, the majority can lead a relatively normal life. Detection of Aβ plaques in MCI indicates early Alzheimer's disease, while a negative scan eliminates this possibility. Consequently a negative scan is very reassuring while a positive scan can lead to earlier and more appropriate medical and social management."

Explore further: New research supports upcoming Alzheimer's disease guidelines

More information: 18F-florbetaben Abeta imaging in mild cognitive impairment Kevin Ong, Victor L Villemagne, Alex Bahar-Fuchs, Fiona Lamb, Gaël Chételat, Parnesh Raniga, Rachel S Mulligan, Olivier Salvado, Barbara Putz, Katrin Roth, Colin L Masters, Cornelia B Reininger and Christopher C Rowe, Alzheimer's Research & Therapy (in press)

Related Stories

New research supports upcoming Alzheimer's disease guidelines

August 1, 2011
Two new studies published in the August issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM) provide insight into the potential of positron emission tomography (PET) to differentiate between types of dementia and to identify pharmaceuticals ...

Study shows antibody therapy clears Alzheimer's plaques in mice

December 5, 2012
Antibodies against amyloid beta (Aβ) protein deposits that are thought to play a role in Alzheimer's disease have shown some success in preventing the buildup of deposits in animals, but they have not been effective at removing ...

Neurons die in Alzheimer's because of faulty cell cycle control before plaques and tangles appear

December 17, 2012
The two infamous proteins, amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau, that characterize advanced Alzheimer's disease (AD), start healthy neurons on the road to cell death long before the appearance of the deadly plaques and tangles by working ...

Immune cells of the brain renew hopes for curing Alzheimer's disease

November 30, 2012
A new experimental study carried out in mice shows that microglia, immune cells of the brain, might play a key role in protecting the brain from Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is long believed that toxic sticky protein deposits ...

Scientists reverse Alzheimer's-like memory loss in animal models by blocking EGFR signaling

September 24, 2012
A team of neuroscientists and chemists from the U.S. and China today publish research suggesting that a class of currently used anti-cancer drugs as well as several previously untested synthetic compounds show effectiveness ...

New imaging test aids Alzheimer's diagnosis

August 23, 2012
In research studies, scientists regularly use positron emission tomography (PET) scans to detect signs of Alzheimer's disease. Now, Washington University physicians at Barnes-Jewish Hospital are the first in Missouri to offer ...

Recommended for you

Rocky start for Alzheimer's drug research in 2018

January 19, 2018
The year 2018, barely underway, has already dealt a series of disheartening blows to the quest for an Alzheimer's cure.

Alzheimer's disease: Neuronal loss very limited

January 17, 2018
Frequently encountered in the elderly, Alzheimer's is considered a neurodegenerative disease, which means that it is accompanied by a significant, progressive loss of neurons and their nerve endings, or synapses. A joint ...

Anxiety: An early indicator of Alzheimer's disease?

January 12, 2018
A new study suggests an association between elevated amyloid beta levels and the worsening of anxiety symptoms. The findings support the hypothesis that neuropsychiatric symptoms could represent the early manifestation of ...

One of the most promising drugs for Alzheimer's disease fails in clinical trials

January 11, 2018
To the roughly 400 clinical trials that have tested some experimental treatment for Alzheimer's disease and come up short, we can now add three more.

Different disease types associated with distinct amyloid-beta prion strains found in Alzheimer's patients

January 9, 2018
An international team of researchers has found different disease type associations with distinct amyloid-beta prion strains in the brains of dead Alzheimer's patients. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National ...

Advances in brain imaging settle debate over spread of key protein in Alzheimer's

January 5, 2018
Recent advances in brain imaging have enabled scientists to show for the first time that a key protein which causes nerve cell death spreads throughout the brain in Alzheimer's disease - and hence that blocking its spread ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.