In Vivo Imaging of Tau Distribution in the Brain
The development of a cure for AD has been hampered by the lack of reliable tools for early diagnosis, staging and monitoring disease progression. The diagnosis of AD can only be confirmed at post mortem where the presence of senile plaques composed of Amyloid peptides (Ab) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) composed of hyper-phosphorylated aggregated Tau protein. The initial changes in the brain are through to begin 20 years or more before AD symptoms appear and offer an opportunity for early diagnosis and intervention with a disease modifying therapy.
The density and neocortical spread of NFTs correlate with progressive neuronal degeneration and cognitive impairment making PET imaging of NFTs a desirable biomarker for AD.
Imaging of NFTs will allow early detection of disease and the ability to investigate the effectiveness of disease modifying therapies. 18F labelled THK compounds show good affinity for synthetic Tau fibrils and good selectivity over Ab. First in human studies have shown the ability to differentiate between AD patients and healthy controls and the pattern distribution agrees with the reported NFT distribution in the AD brain.
With support from the LSRNW, PETIC will produce 18F THK 5351 to the standards required for human use. This will enable PETIC to assess Tau levels in the brain and facilitate drug development in the fields of Alzheimer’s and other dementias involving Tau deposition.
Image courtesy of Nobuyuki Okamura, Tohuku University, Japan
For further details please contact
Dr Chris Marshall,
Director of PETIC (029) 20748164