Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Imaging Method Allows Early Identification of Alzheimer's

Researcher's a UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior have developed an innovative new method of using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with a small molecule invented at UCLA to non-invasively identify amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain, allowing for the detection of diseases such as Alzheimer's disease in their early stages.

Study results found that the new method was able to track disease progression over a two-year period and was more effective in differentiating patients with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment from normal study subjects when compared to conventional imaging techniques. Researchers are working with Siemens Medical to begin a clinical trial using this new molecular marker in order to obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval so that it will be available in the future for use by physicians with their patients.

The results will be published in the Dec. 21 New England Journal of Medicine.

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