JNM Supplement Explores Opportunities for Molecular Imaging of Neurodegeneration

June 2, 2022

Reston, VA — In response to the ongoing paradigm shift in how neurodegenerative diseases are defined and diagnosed—as well as the new hope for a breakthrough in disease-modifying drugs—The Journal of Nuclear Medicine has issued a supplement on molecular imaging of neurodegeneration. The supplement provides an up-to-date overview on the different aspects of molecular imaging in neurodegeneration and a discussion on what the future will bring to the field.

Neurodegenerative disorders encompass most dementias, movement disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, and other diseases. Disease-specific trigger events in neurodegenerative disorders are still mainly unknown, and consequently, no preventive or curative treatment is currently available. As the incidence of most neurodegenerative disorders increases with age, they are of enormous socioeconomic relevance in our aging societies.

“In the clinic, molecular imaging has the potential to improve early and differential diagnosis and to stratify and monitor therapy in these disorders. Meanwhile, in research, these techniques improve our understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and pathobiochemistry of these disorders and allow for drug testing,” said supplement guest editors Henryk Barthel, MD, PhD, professor in the Klinik und Poliklinik für Nuklearmedizin at the University of Leipzig in Germany, and Victor L. Villemagne, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. “There is great enthusiasm about advancing this facet of the field of molecular imaging, and the future is bright.”

Articles in the supplement include:

  • Molecular Imaging of Neurodegeneration: The Way to New Horizons
    Victor L. Villemagne and Henryk Barthel
    Villemagne and Barthel introduce this special issue of JNM on the current state of the art in molecular imaging in neurodegeneration and opportunities for future development.

  • 18F-FDG PET Imaging in Neurodegenerative Dementing Disorders: Insights into Subtype Classification, Emerging Disease Categories, and Mixed Dementia with Copathologies
    Satoshi Minoshima, Donna Cross, Tanyaluck Thientunyakit, Norman Foster, and Alexander Drzezga
    Minoshima and colleagues look at evolving applications of18F-FDG PET in neurodegenerative dementia, with a focus on integration of recent discoveries to extend this “workhorse” tool as a precise imaging biomarker of functional disease endophenotype.

  • The Role of Amyloid PET in Imaging Neurodegenerative Disorders: A Review
    Marianne Chapleau, Leonardo Iaccarino, David Soleimani-Meigooni, and Gil D. Rabinovici
    Chapleau and colleagues provide an overview of the use of amyloid PET in neurodegenerative diseases, including clinical, pathologic, and imaging correlates; applications in clinical trials; and the comparative utility of other available biomarkers.

  • Tau PET Imaging in Neurodegenerative Disorders
    Colin Groot, Sylvia Villeneuve, Ruben Smith, Oskar Hansson, and Rik Ossenkoppele
    Groot and colleagues review methodologic challenges associated with tau PET imaging and assess its growing acceptance as a diagnostic and potentially prognostic marker in dementia and for monitoring novel treatments in clinical trials.

  • Imaging Dopaminergic Neurotransmission in Neurodegenerative Disorders
    Elon D. Wallert, Elsmarieke van de Giessen, Remco J.J. Knol, Martijn Beudel, Rob M.A. de Bie, and Jan Booij
    Wallert and colleagues summarize current approaches to imaging brain dopaminergic neurotransmission in neurodegenerative disorders in both routine clinical practice and research settings.

  • PET Imaging of Cholinergic Neurotransmission in Neurodegenerative Disorders
    Solveig Tiepolt, Philipp M. Meyer, Marianne Patt, Winnie Deuther-Conrad, Swen Hesse, Henryk Barthel, and Osama Sabri
    Tiepolt and colleagues describe the current status of PET imaging of cholinergic neurotransmission, including utility in diagnosis, disease and therapy monitoring, and pathophysiologic elucidation of various neurodegenerative disorders.

  • Imaging Neuroinflammation in Neurodegenerative Disorders
    Joseph C. Masdeu, Belen Pascual, and Masahiro Fujita
    Masdeu and colleagues present the characteristics of available PET neuroinflammation tracers and their applications in various neurodegenerative disorders, along with the potential for new PET inflammation biomarkers.

  • Cyclooxygenases as Potential PET Imaging Biomarkers to Explore Neuroinflammation in Dementia
    Bruny V. Kenou, Lester S. Manly, Sara B. Rubovits, Somachukwu A. Umeozulu, Maia G. Van Buskirk, Andrea S. Zhang, Victor W. Pike, Paolo Zanotti-Fregonara, Ioline D. Henter, and Robert B. Innis
    Kenou and colleagues review the development of PET radioligands for cyclooxygenase subtypes 1 and 2 as biomarkers of neuroinflammation and summarize recent imaging research in animals and humans.

  • Imaging of Synaptic Density in Neurodegenerative Disorders
    Richard E. Carson, Mika Naganawa, Takuya Toyonaga, Sheida Koohsari, Yanghong Yang, Ming-Kai Chen, David Matuskey, and Sjoerd J. Finnema
    Carson and colleagues highlight the introduction of synaptic vesicle protein 2A tracers and quantification methods, including compartment modeling and simple tissue ratios, in both preclinical and human PET imaging.

  • Future Directions in Molecular Imaging of Neurodegenerative Disorders
    Henryk Barthel, Victor L. Villemagne, and Alexander Drzezga
    Barthel and colleagues offer perspectives on the future of neurodegeneration tracers and associated imaging technologies, pointing toward enhanced understanding of disease and improved patient care.

The JNM Molecular Imaging of Neurodegeneration Supplement is available at https://jnm.snmjournals.org/content/63/Supplement_1.

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