New molecular imaging agent may help visualize early stages of Alzheimer's disease

Monday, June 7, 2010 - 12:31 in Health & Medicine

A multinational clinical trial revealed at SNM's 57th Annual Meeting presents a novel imaging agent that could be the next major breakthrough for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease -- a slow but fatal neurodegenerative disease. The new agent is used in conjunction with a molecular imaging technique called positron emission tomography (PET) and works by binding to beta-amyloid, a naturally-occurring protein that builds up in the brain and is thought to be a precursor to Alzheimer's. Scientists aim to hone beta-amyloid imaging and put it to use with new drug treatments that could potentially slow or even halt the disease before irreparable damage and dementia set in.

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