Tau-binding compound news

Tau-binding compound sheds light on Alzheimer’s through PET Imaging

A new way of identifying the protein tau – a hallmark of dementia - in the brain has shed light on how the disease develops, according to new research presented Wednesday 17 July 2013 at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
Researchers carried out PET scans on people with Alzheimer’s and people without the condition who were of the same age. Firstly they were injected with [C¹¹]PBB3 which has recently been developed to highlight tau (a protein already known as a hallmark in the development of Alzheimer’s). They also injected [¹¹C]PIB, which is known for binding to beta-amyloid – another hallmark of Alzheimer’s - and scanned again. 
The study conducted by Hitoshi Shimada of Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences found that PET imaging revealed high levels of [C¹¹]PBB3 in different areas of the brain to [¹¹C]PIB. The tau-binding agent spread to large areas of the brain in those with Alzheimer’s and the area covered and degree of concentration correlated with the participants’ severity of the disease.
Alzheimer’s Society comment: 
‘The tangling of tau protein in the brain has been considered a key part of the development of Alzheimer’s disease for some time. This study improves our picture of tau’s role in dementia, and could help clinicians better understand the onset of the condition. 
However, more research is needed for the details of this process to become clearer and for us to truly understand how the build up of both tau and amyloid play a part in dementia and can be exploited in developing treatments.’
Dr Doug Brown
Director of Research and Development      Alzheimer’s Society
Research reference: Hitoshi Shimada et al Molecular Imaging Center, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Japan.  In vivo visualization of tau pathology in Alzheimer’s disease patients by [11C]PBB3-PET. Presented at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2013 on Sunday 14 July 2014. 
  • One in three people over 65 will develop dementia 
  • Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051 
  • Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them  
  • Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland 
  • Alzheimer’s Society has a plan to deal with dementia. Help us support people to live well today and fight for a world without dementia tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk   
  • Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk 
© Alzheimer's Society - 17th July 2013

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