PIB-PET offers early proof of Alzheimer's disease onset

June 3, 2008

Groundbreaking research has confirmed that Pittsburgh Compound B binds to the beta-amyloid deposits in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. The finding is a major step toward an early, definitive diagnosis of the memory-stealing condition.

Groundbreaking research has confirmed that Pittsburgh Compound B binds to the beta-amyloid deposits in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. The finding is a major step toward an early, definitive diagnosis of the memory-stealing condition.

"As excited as researchers get, we are pretty excited," said senior author Dr. Steven T. DeKosky, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

DeKosky and colleagues studied a 63-year-old woman with a clinical diagnosis of AD who underwent PIB-PET imaging and brain autopsy upon her death 10 months later. The regions of her brain with the highest PIB levels before death correlated precisely with those with high beta-amyloid plaque concentration postmortem. An additional 27 brain autopsies confirmed the findings, which investigators reported in the March 12 online issue of Brain.