New PET scan for Alzheimer's disease directly measures synaptic loss
Exciting new research from Yale University has revealed a new method that could potentially objectively diagnose if a person is suffering through the early stages of Alzheimer's disease using a non-invasive PET scan.
A major roadblock slowing down effective Alzheimer's research is our inability to easily, or clearly, diagnose the disease at its early stages. Several blood tests are being explored that can identify biomarkers signaling the early presence of the disease, but nothing has proved conclusive enough to move into general clinical use.
The new Yale University innovation uses PET imaging technology to evaluate cognitive decline by effectively measuring how much synaptic loss or degradation has occurred in a patient's brain. To quantify a person's "synaptic density" the researchers homed in on a protein called SV2A. This protein is found in nearly all healthy synapses, but as those connections degrade, so does the presence of SV2A.
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