Volume 57 (2009) Issue 10 Pages 1029-1039
Currently, the development of radiotracers for in vivo imaging of β-amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains is an important, active area of molecular imaging. Postmortem brains of AD patients reveal neuropathologic features: the presence of β-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, which contain β-amyloid peptides and highly phosphorylated tau proteins. Increases in the concentration of β-amyloid in the course of the disease lead to changes in AD brains. Thus, when used in combination with positron-emission tomography/single-photon emission computed tomography (PET/SPECT), β-amyloid imaging agents could serve as surrogate markers for the early diagnosis and neuropathogenetic studies of AD. Furthermore, quantitative evaluation of β-amyloid plaques in the brain could facilitate the evaluation of the efficacy of antiamyloid therapies that are currently being investigated. This paper reviews our research on the development of PET/SPECT imaging agents for in vivo detection of β-amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's brains.