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Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimer's treatments
Date:2/9/2010

imaging or FDG-PET, which allowed them to measure the size of different brain structures, network connections or brain metabolism.

While PIB-PET is used for research purposes only, due to its limited "half life," or amount of time it takes for the radioactive signal of the compound to decay, other amyloid imaging agents are being developed for commercial use. However, Rabinovici "strongly discourages" uses of the technology in cognitively normal individuals until effective and safe anti-amyloid therapies are available and the benefit of preventive treatment is demonstrated in clinical trials.

Eventually, he predicts, the technology might be used for screening those genetically at risk for Alzheimer's, as well as those who are minimally symptomatic. Anti-amyloid treatments would then be prescribed to prevent the onset of the disease.

The study was funded by grants from the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer's Association and the John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation.

Approximately 4.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease, according to the National Institute on Aging. The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer's and other dementias are estimated to be $148 billion per year, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

The mission of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center is to provide the highest quality of care for individuals with cognitive problems, to conduct research on causes and cures for degenerative brain diseases, and to educate health professionals, patients and their families.


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Contact: Jennifer O'Brien
jobrien@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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