PET Radiotracer for High Precision Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Irvine researchers have designed a new radiotracer called F-18 Flotaza for treating Alzheimer’s disease. It was diagnosed that F-18 Flotaza significantly enhances the target to nontarget ratios in PET despite of the vitros ratios not directly getting translated to vivo measures.

To pathologically examine the signs of Alzheimer’s disease, the formation of beta-amyloid plaques is examined. The researchers have concluded that new PET imaging tracers can help examine these beta-amyloid plaques at an early stage and thereby develop new alternative therapies which can help reduce beta-amyloid plaque formation in the brain cells.

The current radiotracers used in the US for Alzheimer’s disease are florbetapir, florbetaben, and flutemetamol. These have also been approved by FDA for clinical PET imaging of beta-amyloid. These radiotracers are identified as F-18 tracers.

These radiotracers offer a long half-life, however, they blend with white cells in the brain which results in low SUV (standardized uptake values) in the patient’s cortex. This is the location where beta-amyloid plaque is also present. Thereby there is a need for an agent which can provide a significantly high SUV to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

In one of the researches, F-18 was combined with molecular components of earlier radiotracer which presented a great decline in the white matter binding of the brain cells. This radiotracer was named as F-18 Flotaza. The chemical composition of the same is 2-{2-[2-Fluoroethoxy]ethoxy}ethoxy)-4′ -N, N-dimethylaminoazobenzene. While a few Alzheimer’s disease patients were examined when they died, it was found that the slices included anterior cingulate and corpus callosum tissues. These brain slices were then positively immunostained with anti-beta amyloid and it was examined that the gray matter to white matter was greater than 100. There was hardly any binding of white matter which was noticed.

This study highly co-related with anti-amyloid beta immunostains, and thereby it can be concluded that F-18 PET radiotracer can be highly recommended for imaging studies of beta-amyloid plaques for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Another method was using radiosynthesis of F-18 Flotaza, which was however much simpler than the earlier method. A lot needs to be further investigated and researched for further study and enhancement of usage of PET radiotracers for Alzheimer’s disease.

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