Advances in molecular imaging for the diagnosis of dementia

Nobuyuki Okamura, Michelle T. Fodero-Tavoletti, Yukitsuka Kudo, Christopher C. Rowe, Shozo Furumoto, Hiroyuki Arai, Colin L. Masters, Kazuhiko Yanai, Victor L. Villemagne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is an urgent need for early diagnosis and treatment of dementia to ease caregiver burden and medical costs associated with the increasing number of affected patients. Molecular imaging with target-specific ligands is contributing to the early diagnosis of dementia and the evaluation of anti-dementia therapy. Objective: This article reviews recent advances in the molecular imaging field applied to dementia. To illustrate the utility of molecular imaging in the clinical management of dementia, results from recently published papers using new imaging probes are compared with those from conventional imaging strategies. Conclusion: The recent development of β-sheet binding agents including FDDNP, PIB, SB-13, BF-227 and BAY94-9172 enables the non-invasive detection of amyloid deposition in the brain. These agents would be useful for the early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, patient selection for disease-modifying therapeutic trials and monitoring the effect of anti-amyloid therapy. Also, monitoring neurotransmitter function contributes to the differential diagnosis of dementia and refinement of treatment protocols. New targets for molecular imaging are focusing on protein misfolding diseases associated with the neurotoxic deposition of aggregated tau, α-synuclein and prion proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-716
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Medical Diagnostics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Nov


  • Acetylcholine
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid-β protein
  • Dementia
  • Imaging
  • Molecular imaging
  • Near-infrared
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Prion
  • Single photon emission computed tomography
  • Tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, medical


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