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2005 Grant - Basun
Amyloid in Brain, CSF and Plasma in Alzheimer Patients: One-Year Followup
Hans Basun, M.D., Ph.D.
2005 Zenith Fellows Award
A tiny protein fragment called beta-amyloid is a prime suspect as the mechanism causing the breakdown of cell-to-cell communication and cell death in Alzheimer's disease. A large effort in Alzheimer's research is to establish valid means of measuring amyloid concentrations in the brain as a means to monitor disease progression and to assess correlations between amyloid concentrations and symptom severity.
One method of measuring amyloid in the brain is the use of a recently developed imaging agent, a compound that attaches itself to amyloid deposits and can be detected with positron emission tomography (PET). Other studies have shown that lower levels of beta-amyloid in the blood and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) may reflect higher concentrations in the brain.
Hans Basun, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues are correlating these three measures of amyloid concentrations with the severity and decline of cognitive, behavioral, and functional skills in 10 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. The data from this study may help clarify the link between disease processes and symptoms, reveal how amyloid concentrations change over time, and demonstrate the utility of amyloid measures as markers of disease progression.