CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A proof-of-concept study conducted in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease offers new evidence that copper isotopes can be used to detect the amyloid-beta protein deposits that form in the brains of people living with – or at risk of developing – Alzheimer’s.
Several types of isotopes give off positively charged particles called positrons that are detectable by positron emission tomography scanners. The copper isotope used in the study, Cu-64, lasts much longer than the carbon or fluorine isotopes currently approved for use in human subjects, researchers report. Having access to longer-lasting diagnostic agents would make the process of diagnosing Alzheimer’s more accessible to people who live far from major medical centers. Any clinic with a PET scanner could have the agents shipped to it in time to use the compounds in brain scans of patients living nearby.
Cho, H. J.; Huynh, T. T.; Rogers, B. E.; Mirica, L. M.;* “Design of a Multivalent Bifunctional Chelator for Diagnostic 64Cu PET Imaging in Alzheimer’s Disease”, PNAS, 2020. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2014058117