January 11, 2012
Advance Toward An Imaging Agent For Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientists are reporting development and initial laboratory tests of an imaging agent that shows promise for detecting the tell-tale signs of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the brain – signs that now can't confirm a diagnosis until after patients have died. Their report appears in the journal ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.
Masahiro Ono and colleagues explain that no proven laboratory test or medical scan now exists for AD, which is claiming an increasingly heavy toll with the graying of the world's population. Patients now get a diagnosis of AD based on their medical history and symptoms, and symptoms like memory loss often are identical to those of normal aging. Currently, the only definitive way to diagnose AD involves an autopsy with examination of brain samples for the presence of the clumps and tangles of abnormal protein that occur in the disease.
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