Tau PET Imaging in Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Nobuyuki OkamuraEmail author
  • Ryuichi Harada
  • Shozo Furumoto
  • Hiroyuki Arai
  • Kazuhiko Yanai
  • Yukitsuka Kudo
Neuroimaging (DJ Brooks, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neuroimaging


In several neurodegenerative diseases that are collectively called tauopathies, progressive accumulation of tau in the brain is closely associated with neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment. Noninvasive detection of tau protein deposits in the brain would be useful to diagnose tauopathies as well as to track and predict disease progression. Recently, several tau PET tracers including T807, THK-5117, and PBB3 have been developed and succeeded in imaging neurofibrillary pathology in vivo. For use of tau PET as a biomarker of tau pathology in Alzheimer’s disease, PET tracers should have high affinity to PHF-tau and high selectivity for tau over amyloid-β and other protein deposits. PET tau imaging enables the longitudinal assessment of the spatial pattern of tau deposition and its relation to amyloid-β pathology and neurodegeneration. This technology could also be applied to the pharmacological assessment of anti-tau therapy, thereby allowing preventive interventions.


Positron emission tomography Amyloid Tau Neurofibrillary tangles Dementia Early diagnosis Biomarker 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Ryuichi Harada, Hiroyuki Arai, and Kazuhiko Yanai declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Nobuyuki Okamura, Shozo Furumoto, and Yukitsuka Kudo were funded by a grant to study tau PET imaging from GE Healthcare, the SEI (Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.) Group, CSR Foundation, Health and Labor Sciences Research Grants from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of Japan, and Grant-in-Aid for Exploratory Research (25670524) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nobuyuki Okamura
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ryuichi Harada
    • 2
  • Shozo Furumoto
    • 3
    • 4
  • Hiroyuki Arai
    • 5
  • Kazuhiko Yanai
    • 1
  • Yukitsuka Kudo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyTohoku University School of MedicineSendaiJapan
  2. 2.Division of Neuro-imaging, Institute of Development, Aging and CancerTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  3. 3.Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  4. 4.Cyclotron and Radioisotope CenterTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  5. 5.Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Institute of Development, Aging and CancerTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

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