Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley became the first to track the entire progression of Alzheimer’s disease in cognitively normal adults through the use of positron emission tomography (PET) scans. This advancement is considered a breakthrough in finding an early diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s disease.
The study compared two groups of cognitively healthy adults, the first group aged 20 to 26 and the second group aged 64 to 90, with a third group of participants, aged 53 to 77, who were predicted to develop Alzheimer’s. The build-up of the protein tau is one of the hallmark signs of Alzheimer’s, and by using the PET imaging test, researchers were able to clearly identify the stages of tau build-up in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s – even the very early stages.
This is the first test of its kind to identify the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in living adults. Alzheimer’s is commonly diagnosed through an assortment of medical tests, most of which are used to rule out alternate possibilities as opposed to deciding one specific diagnosis. An accurate diagnostic tool could help identify Alzheimer’s in its’ earliest stages, which could lead to improved treatment plans in the future and these findings bring researchers that much closer.
To read the full study, visit www.CognitiveTherapeutics.com/Newsroom/Blog/early-diagnosis-of-alzheimers.