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Neuron. 2016 Mar 2;89(5):971-82. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.01.028.

PET Imaging of Tau Deposition in the Aging Human Brain.

Author information

  • 1Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; MedTech West and the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, University of Gothenburg, 413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • 2Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
  • 3Department of Neurology, Memory and Aging Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
  • 4Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
  • 5Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Department of Neurology, Memory and Aging Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA; Department of Neurology & Alzheimer Center, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • 6Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Department of Neurology, Memory and Aging Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
  • 7Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Electronic address: jagust@berkeley.edu.

Abstract

Tau pathology is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) but also occurs in normal cognitive aging. Using the tau PET agent (18)F-AV-1451, we examined retention patterns in cognitively normal older people in relation to young controls and AD patients. Age and β-amyloid (measured using PiB PET) were differentially associated with tau tracer retention in healthy aging. Older age was related to increased tracer retention in regions of the medial temporal lobe, which predicted worse episodic memory performance. PET detection of tau in other isocortical regions required the presence of cortical β-amyloid and was associated with decline in global cognition. Furthermore, patterns of tracer retention corresponded well with Braak staging of neurofibrillary tau pathology. The present study defined patterns of tau tracer retention in normal aging in relation to age, cognition, and β-amyloid deposition.

KEYWORDS:

PET; aging; amyloid; memory; tau

PMID:
26938442
PMCID:
PMC4779187
[Available on 2017-03-02]
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2016.01.028
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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