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CNS Spectr. 2005 Nov;10(11 Suppl 18):13-6.

Utilizing advanced imaging and surrogate markers across the spectrum of Alzheimer's disease.

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Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University Medical Center, Campus Box 8123, 510 S. Kingshighway Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative neurological condition characterized by the presence of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the limbic and neocortical regions of the brain. Pittsburgh Compound-B (PIB), a benzothiazole analog, has recently been found to specifically label amyloid deposits in positron emission tomography (PET) studies of the brain, opening the door for a wide range of applications related to Alzheimer's disease. In this article, data demonstrating the specificity of PIB as a PET tracer for beta-amyloid lesions are reviewed, and the potential clinical applications of PIB PET imaging is discussed. Because amyloid plaques are common even in elderly individuals who are not suffering from dementia, the primary diagnostic function of PIB PET imaging presumably would be to rule out, rather than definitively confirm, Alzheimer's diagnoses in elderly patients. Other possible uses include monitoring plaque loads in patients receiving anti-amyloid therapy for Alzheimer's disease, as well as assessing plaque formation in unaffected individuals as a means of evaluating future Alzheimer's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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