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Study validates Pittsburgh Compound-B in identifying Alzheimer's disease brain toxins
Date:3/26/2008

eposits associated with Alzheimers. The distinguishing factor between Alzheimers disease and other dementias is the presence of these amyloid plaques, which are thought to kill brain cells.

In the study, a 63-year-old woman with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimers underwent PiB PET imaging. The PET scan showed significant retention of PiB in distinct regions of her brain. Upon her death 10 months later, her autopsied brain was analyzed using histological and biochemical assays to detect a variety of amyloid deposits, including the beta-amyloid plaques. The regions of her brain where the PET scans had identified the highest PiB levels before death correlated precisely with the regions of high beta-amyloid plaque concentrations in her autopsied brain. To view a PiB PET image, click here.

Beta-amyloid plaques, the hallmark of Alzheimers disease, are just one type of amyloid structure that can be found in diseased brains. However, other forms of amyloid are not thought to be specific for Alzheimers, or they have significantly different roles in the pathogenesis of this disease. To further validate the binding properties of PiB to beta-amyloid and the presence of Alzheimers disease, sophisticated laboratory studies were performed on the autopsied brains of 27 other patients with confirmed Alzheimers disease.

In every subject, and with each test that we performed, our results supported the idea that PiB binds almost exclusively to beta-amyloid, which means that we can, with confidence, look to PiB to indicate the troublesome beta-amyloid deposits in brains of living patients, said the lead author Milos Ikonomovic, M.D., assistant professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.

This patient who selflessly and generously agreed to PiB PET scanning and who gave us the gift of her brain has enabled us to com
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Contact: Gloria Kreps
KrepsGA@upmc.edu
412-647-3555
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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