This Brain Imaging Technology Could Predict Alzheimer Even Before Its Emergence

by Stephen Riddle
This Brain Imaging Technology Could Predict Alzheimer Even Before Its Emergence

Many people across the world have Alzheimer’s, which is the most broadly spread type of dementia. But most of the time, the health condition remains undiagnosed until the emergence of some serious problem. Until now, there is no such medication that can treat Alzheimer’s. On the other hand, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, have conducted a clinical trial that emits a new ray of hope. Through the latest effort, researchers can identify key factors of Alzheimer’s. The innovative brain scans assists experts in locating a protein present inside the cells of the brain. Notably, the protein assists in estimating how the disease will progress, years before severe symptoms start emerging in the patient.

Researchers have used an imaging methodology to monitor the level of tau, a protein present in the brain. They have analyzed the level of proteins in the people experiencing early symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The study pinpoints that tau drives the destruction of brain cells. Even more, it could result in better medications and screening for the people at a higher risk of the disease. The research, published in the journal Science Transitional Medicine, scientists have used positive emission tomography (PET) scans. During the study, they have analyzed brains of over 30 people having age between 49-84 years. Notably, the candidates were in the primary stages of revealing Alzheimer’s signs.

Before this, it was not possible to estimate the level of tau in the alive brain. But, in the new trial, researchers have injected patients with an element, flortaucipir, that stuck to the tangles of tau. As per experts, the element binds with the protein and releases a slight radioactive signal that is visible in PET scans. Eventually, the clusters of tau emerged in succeeding scans. Currently, the US Food and Drug Association is reviewing the element that enables the estimation of tau in the brain. Well, it is a first-ever trial attempting to unveil whether tau levels can forecast future brain failure.

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