Alzheimer's disease: New scan may diagnose disease as brain changes occur

New scans may help doctors track Alzheimer's disease as it progresses in living patients.
Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   Sept. 20, 2013 at 11:52 AM   |   0 comments

Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Newly developed fluorescent compounds may help doctors track Alzheimer's disease in living patients as it advances in the brain, according to a new study.

Tests showed that in PET scans of the brain, the compounds highlight protein clusters in Alzheimer's sufferers.

The protein clusters, called tau proteins, clump together and become tangled in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. The tangles are an important marker of brain deterioration that was previously difficult to monitor, and will help doctors determine the progression of the disease.

The compounds will also aid in diagnosing the disease and monitoring the effectiveness of treatments, including in testing new drugs to prevent and treat the disease.

Tau tangles also play a role in other types of dementia and movement disorders, and the discovery could help doctors diagnose, monitor and treat these diseases as well.

Follow @cmlee and @UPI on Twitter.
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Trending News
Join the conversation
Most Popular
Photos
Video
x
Feedback