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New JNM research supports upcoming Alzheimer's disease guidelines
Date:8/1/2011

reatment and prognosis and has genetic implications for the family."

In addition to detecting Alzheimer's disease earlier, molecular imaging can also be used in clinical trials to help develop pharmaceuticals to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. This is particularly of importance to patients with MCI who have yet to develop Alzheimer's disease.

"We urgently need tools for conducting drug trials for MCI more efficiently," noted Karl Herholz, MD, lead author of the study "Evaluation of a Calibrated 18F-FDG PET Score as a Biomarker for Progression of Alzheimer's Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment." He continued, "Clinical outcome parameters show large variability and little sensitivity to progression at that stage, making these trials extremely costly and cumbersome. By using imaging biomarkers as primary outcome parameters, clinical trials can be performed with smaller sample sizes or shorter trial duration without loss of study power."

The study evaluated a predefined quantitative measurea PET scorethat was extracted automatically from 18F-FDG PET scans using a sample of controls, patients with MCI and patients with Alzheimer's disease. The PET scores provided a much higher test-retest reliability than standard neuropsychologic test scores (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive and Mini-Mental State Examination) and superior strength for measuring progression, as well as a valid measurement of cognitive impairment. As such, the PET scores can be considered a valid imaging biomarker to monitor the progression of MCI to Alzheimer's disease.

"Prevention of dementia by drugs applied at MCI stage would greatly improve quality of life for patients and reduce costs of dementia care and treatment. Thus, development of such drugs and efficient tools for testing them are extremely important," concluded Herholz.


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Contact: Susan Martonik
smartonik@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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