First Comprehensive Amyloid Imaging Solution1
Patients with symptoms of cognitive impairment can be misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Up to one in five patients clinically diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease during life do not have Alzheimer’s disease pathology upon autopsy.7,8
Only neuropathological examination, usually performed at autopsy, can definitively rule out Alzheimer’s disease.3 For the first time in clinical practice, physicians can utilize PET imaging to visualize evidence of amyloid plaques when evaluating for Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of cognitive decline.
Beta-amyloid plaque is one of the necessary pathological features of Alzheimer’s disease. Beta-amyloid plaques are deposits of a protein fragment called beta-amyloid that build up in the spaces between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. In a healthy brain, beta-amyloid protein fragments are broken down and removed from the brain. In a brain with Alzheimer’s disease, beta-amyloid protein fragments accumulate to form hard, insoluble plaques in between neurons. Beta-amyloid accumulation builds over many years in the brain.9 Accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques interacts with a signal pathway that causes neurofibrillary tangles which are insoluble twisted fibers found inside the brain’s cells. As increasing amounts of plaques and tangles form in particular areas of the brain and brain cells work less efficiently, they eventually lose their ability to function and die. Beta-amyloid plaques are seen in other neurologic conditions and older people with normal cognition, therefore confirmation of beta-amyloid plaques does not definitively lead to Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.
3 Hyman BT, Phelps CH, Beach TG, et al. National Institute on Aging–Alzheimer’s Association Guidelines for the Neuropathologic Assessment of Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2012;8:1-13.
7 Lim A, Tsuang D, Kukull W, et al. Clinico-Neuropathological Correlation of Alzheimer’s Disease in a Community-Based Case Series. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1999;47(5):564–569.
8 Petrovitch H, White LR, Ross GW, et al. Accuracy of Clinical Criteria for AD in the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study, a Population-Based Study. Neurology. 2001;57(2):226–234.
9 Rodriguez KM, Kennedy KM, Devous MD Sr, et al. Amyloid Burden in Healthy Aging: Regional Distribution and Cognitive Consequences. Neurology. 2012;78(6):387-95.