Molecular Imaging for Investigation of the Pathophysiology of Brain Degeneration and Dementia
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Anousha Athreya, Adam Craig, S. Koby Taswell, Andrew Kang, Carl Taswell, Abass Alavi
Brain Health Alliance Virtual Institute, Ladera Ranch, CA 92694 USA
Brain degeneration and dementias are progressive disorders causing memory loss and cognitive impairment due to brain atrophy and pathological lesions associated with abnormal protein deposits and death of neurons. In recent decades, advances in non-invasive molecular imaging of the brain have provided effective visualization of brain atrophy and dysfunction in dementia. Researchers have developed numerous radiotracers that bind to both normal and abnormal biomarkers in the brain, creating distinct topographic patterns characteristic of different stages in diverse neurodegenerative disorders. In this review, we discuss the use of molecular imaging, specifically positron emission tomography (PET), for facilitating diagnosis and monitoring progression of brain degeneration. Differential diagnosis of degenerative brain disorders with PET brain imaging can be achieved with high accuracy. Continuing development of new radiotracers with increased sensitivity and specificity for different aspects of the pathophysiology of brain degeneration will enhance the use of PET brain imaging to elucidate the causal mechanisms of the dementias and to monitor the efficacy of pharmacologic interventions intended to slow the progression of the dementias.
Molecular imaging, brain degeneration, dementia, PET brain imaging, imaging biomarker.
Brainiacs Journal 2021 Volume 2 Issue 1 Edoc T55809CA7
DOI: 10.48085/T55809CA7
PDP: /Nexus/Brainiacs/Athreya2021MIIBDD
received 2021-12-17, published 2021-12-31, revised 2024-04-11 with review of literature limited to work published before 2021-12-31.
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