Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

SPECT imaging shows promise for accurate, early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

06.05.2004


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) currently afflicts approximately 4.5 million Americans. One of the most feared diseases of old age, AD robs its victims of their memories and personalities long before it takes their lives. Curing or slowing the progress of AD has been a high priority in the scientific community, but an early and accurate diagnosis is equally important given that several other forms of dementia display the same symptoms as AD, especially in the early stages.



A promising breakthrough in differentiating early-stage Alzheimer’s disease from other forms of dementia, collectively known as frontotemporal disease (FTD), has been reported by researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas) in the May edition of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM). Using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging, researchers found that AD patients exhibited reduced blood flow in the posterior cingulate cortex--an area of the brain that plays a part in orientation, sensory interpretation and vocabulary retention--very early in the course of their disease.

Recognizing this posterior cingulate sign gives doctors the ability to identify the onset of AD in patients significantly sooner than current methods. "We have cases where the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease to appear in the patients was the posterior cingulate sign itself, accompanied by only the beginning symptoms of dementia," said Dr. Frederick J. Bonte, director of the Nuclear Medicine Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center and lead author of the brief communication to the JNM.


For this study, SPECT was used to measure blood flow in the posterior cingulate cortex. Three groups were studied: 20 patients diagnosed as probable AD, 20 diagnosed as probable FTD, and 20 normal elderly volunteers. The researchers found that 16 out of the 20 who were clinically diagnosed as having probable AD showed a restricted blood flow in the posterior cingulate cortex . Only one of the patients whose clinical diagnosis was for FTD showed the same kind of blood flow reduction. That patient was later reclassified as probable Alzheimer’s based on clinical symptoms.

Of the four probable Alzheimer’s patients that did not show reduced blood flow in the posterior cingulate cortex, three were found to have an atypical type of AD, known as tangle-predominant AD. A definitive diagnosis for the fourth has not been determined. (Tangle-predominant AD can only be diagnosed with an autopsy.) "The fact that this test appears to be insensitive to tangle-predominant AD, may prove to be a benefit when using it to determine an optimal therapeutic approach since research suggests that this atypical form of AD is not likely to respond to the drugs now in development which are principally directed at the amyloid pathway," said Dr. Bonte.

Although further research will be needed to confirm these findings and to tease the significance out of the tangle-predominant results, the prospect of a highly accurate test for very early-stage AD, which could offer patients the option of initiating therapy before so much of the self is lost, is good news for those who fear this debilitating and cruel killer.


Differential Diagnosis Between Alzheimer’s and Frontotemporal Disease by the Posterior Cingulate Sign was written by Frederick J. Bonte, MD; Thomas S. Harris, MS; Celeste A. Roney, BS; and Linda S. Hynan, PhD, from the Nuclear Medicine Center and the Department of Radiology, the Department of Psychiatry and the Academic Computing Service, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.

Copies of the article and an image related to the study are available to media upon request to Gavin McDonald at (202) 955-1250 or gmcdonald@kamber.com. Current and past issues of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine can be found online at jnm.snmjournals.org. Print copies can be obtained at $15 per copy by contacting the SNM Service Center, Society of Nuclear Medicine, 1850 Samuel Morse Drive, Reston, VA 20190-5315; phone: (703) 326-1186; fax: (703) 708-9015; e-mail: servicecenter@snm.org. A yearly subscription to the journal is $210 for individuals and $318 for institutions. A subscription is a Society of Nuclear Medicine member benefit.

The Society of Nuclear Medicine is an international scientific and professional organization of more than 14,000 members dedicated to promoting the science, technology and practical applications of nuclear medicine. SNM is based in Reston, Va.

Gavin McDonald | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.snm.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>