Molecular Imaging and Biology

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 204–216

The Application of Positron-Emitting Molecular Imaging Tracers in Alzheimer’s Disease

Review Article Special Issue: Molecular Imaging in the Evaluation of Neurodegenerative Diseases


The symptomatology and known pathology of Alzheimer's disease are restricted to the central nervous system. This review details studies of PET tracers aimed at interrogating cholinergic, serotonergic, opiate, benzodiazepine, and inflammatory pathways as well as PET tracers that illuminate amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in AD. Progress has been remarkable. Together with studies of brain structure with MRI and of functional regional brain activity, e.g., through measures of blood flow and glucose metabolic rate, molecular imaging promises to dramatically alter our understanding of the structural and physiological abnormalities underlying AD symptomatology. A more immediate impact on the diagnosis and treatment evaluation of AD patients in clinical trials is predicted while the possibility of personalized treatment or prevention of AD may not be that far away.

Key words

Brain imaging Cholinergic Opiate Amyloid Serotonin 

Copyright information

© Academy of Molecular Imaging 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral NeurosciencesCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging DepartmentCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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