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Brain Imaging (MRI/PET) and Measurements of Proteins in Spinal Fluid May Improve Alzheimer's Prediction and Diagnosis
Date:7/14/2009

MRI with memory tests, may be able to accurately diagnose Alzheimer's at a very early stage in the disease," Ewers said. "We believe this is the first large-scale, multi-center study to use this variety of biomarker candidates in MCI and Alzheimer's. This diagnostic model needs to be validated in autopsy-confirmed Alzheimer's cases."

Poor Results on PET Brain Measurements and Memory Test Scores Increase Alzheimer's Risk 15 Times for People with MCI

Susan M. Landau, PhD, of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues used data from 85 ADNI participants with MCI (ages 55-90) to compare the utility of a variety of baseline measurements for predicting decline in MCI and conversion from MCI to Alzheimer's over a two-year period.

Candidate predictors of decline included hippocampal volume measured with MRI; relative rates of glucose metabolism in certain, prespecified brain regions measured with FDG-PET scans; number of apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) alleles, which is an Alzheimer's risk gene; CSF measurement of Alzheimer's related proteins, including beta amyloid (AB1-42), total tau (t-Tau), and tau phosphorylated in the 181 threonine position (p-tau181); and a test of memory recall ability (AVLT). Participants were evaluated at approximately 6 month intervals to determine whether decline to Alzheimer's had occurred. Approximately 17% (1 in 6) MCI patients converted to Alzheimer's disease per year in this study.

The researchers found that low baseline FDG-PET measurements and poor memory recall in people with MCI reliably predicted progression to Alzheimer's over the two year follow up period of the study.

"The novel finding of our analysis is that when we directly compared all the potential predictors to one another, we found that the amount of glucose metabolism, as measured by FDG-PET, and memory recall ability,
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Association
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