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J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;36(2):261-74. doi: 10.3233/JAD-122434.

Postmortem 3-D brain hemisphere cortical tau and amyloid-β pathology mapping and quantification as a validation method of neuropathology imaging.

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David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6948, USA.


This work is aimed at correlating pre-mortem [18F]FDDNP positron emission tomography (PET) scan results in a patient with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), with cortical neuropathology distribution determined postmortem in three physical dimensions in whole brain coronal sections. Analysis of total amyloid-β (Aβ) distribution in frontal cortex and posterior cingulate gyrus confirmed its statistically significant correlation with cortical [18F]FDDNP PET binding values (distribution volume ratios, DVR) (p < 0.001, R = 0.97, R2 = 0.94). Neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) distribution correlated significantly with cortical [18F]FDDNP PET DVR in the temporal lobe (p < 0.001, R = 0.87, R2 = 0.76). Linear combination of Aβ and NFT densities was highly predictive of [18F]FDDNP PET DVR through all analyzed regions of interest (p < 0.0001, R = 0.92, R2 = 0.85), and both densities contributed significantly to the model. Lewy bodies were present at a much lower level than either Aβ or NFTs and did not significantly contribute to the in vivo signal. [18F]FDG PET scan results in this patient were consistent with the distinctive DLB pattern of hypometabolism. This work offers a mapping brain model applicable to all imaging probes for verification of imaging results with Aβ and/or tau neuropathology brain distribution using immunohistochemistry, fluorescence microscopy, and autoradiography.

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