February 22, 2016
For the first time, researchers have succeeded in passing an antibody through the blood-brain barrier to act as a tracer for PET imaging of the brain. This resulted in more precise information being obtained than with regular radioactive tracers. The study provides hope for more effective diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's disease and improvements in monitoring the effects of medication.
In the new study, published in Nature Communications today, Uppsala researchers demonstrates that an antibody gives more exact information than regular radioactive tracers used in PET brain scans.
"The major advantage of monoclonal antibodies compared to regular small molecule PET tracers is their very high specificity. Our antibody binds soluble forms of amyloid beta, so-called protofibrils, which are probably the toxic form of amyloid and which cause the symptoms," says Lars Lannfelt, professor of Geriatrics at Uppsala University and a chief consultant at Uppsala University Hospital.