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Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 126, Issue 5, pp 643–657 | Cite as

Cerebral amyloid PET imaging in Alzheimer’s disease

  • Clifford R. JackJr.
  • Jorge R. Barrio
  • Vladimir Kepe
Review

Abstract

The devastating effects of the still incurable Alzheimer’s disease (AD) project an ever increasing shadow of burden on the health care system and society in general. In this ominous context, amyloid (Aβ) imaging is considered by many of utmost importance for progress towards earlier AD diagnosis and for potential development of effective therapeutic interventions. Amyloid imaging positron emission tomography procedures offer the opportunity for accurate mapping and quantification of amyloid-Aβ neuroaggregate deposition in the living brain of AD patients. This review analyzes the perceived value of current Aβ imaging probes and their clinical utilization and, based on amyloid imaging results, offers a hypothesis on the effects of amyloid deposition on the biology of AD and its progression. It also analyzes lingering questions permeating the field of amyloid imaging on the apparent contradictions between imaging results and known neuropathology brain regional deposition of Aβ aggregates. As a result, the review also discusses literature evidence as to whether brain Aβ deposition is truly visualized and measured with these amyloid imaging agents, which would have significant implications in the understanding of the biological AD cascade and in the monitoring of therapeutic interventions with these surrogate Aβ markers.

Keywords

Aβ Alzheimer’s disease Amyloid imaging Florbetapir Neuropathological correlations Neuropathological diagnostic criteria Pittsburgh Compound B 

Notes

Acknowledgments

JRB and VK work was partially supported by the UCLA ADRC (NIH grant P50 AG 16570). JRB and VK did not receive support from any for-profit entity, including licensing agreements. CRJ was supported by RO1 AG011378 and RO1 AG041851 and the Alexander Family Professorship of Alzheimers disease research, Mayo Clinic.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular and Medical PharmacologyDavid Geffen School of Medicine University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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