Amyloid and TAU imaging

      Amyloid-β and tau proteins are the components of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer’s disease. Progressive accumulation of these proteins is involved in the development of dementia. Recent progress in development of radiotracers for positron emission tomography (PET) has enabled the visualization of these protein deposits in living brains. Amyloid PET tracers, such as 11C-PiB, 18F-flutemetamol, 18F-florbetapir, and 18F-florbetaben, have been developed and widely used for accurate diagnosis of dementia and for non-invasive assessment of amyloid burden in the clinical trial of anti-dementia drugs. Furthermore, several tau PET tracers have been successfully developed and used in clinical studies. Tau PET imaging allows for differential diagnosis of dementia and accurate staging of Alzheimer’s disease. Tau PET tracers have also been applied to a broad range of tauopathies and demonstrated significant retention in the brain of patients with progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal syndrome. However, recent studies suggest the existence of off-target binding in areas of tau accumulation, suggesting that concomitant neuroinflammatory changes might be associated with tracer binding in these diseases. In this symposium, we will share our experiences in developing novel PET tracers and discuss future directions in clinical research.
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