Scientists using a new PET imaging agent found that measures of tau protein in the brain more closely track cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease compared with long-studied measures of amyloid beta. Scanning multiple individuals the researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine showed that the intensity of tau deposits correlated with the severity of cognitive dysfunction.
The study included 36 control participants who were cognitively normal and 10 patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease. While senior author Beau M. Ances, MD, PhD, an associate professor of neurology, called for larger follow-up studies, he said this analysis helped establish that the new tau agent (T807) is an important tool for understanding the timeline of Alzheimer’s progression and for defining which regions of the brain are involved. Ances: “Our new study suggests you can tolerate a certain amount of tau clumped in the hippocampus, but once it starts spreading into other areas, especially the lateral temporal and parietal lobes, that seems to be the tipping point.”
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Source: ScienceDaily, 11 May 2016