In vivo tau imaging: Obstacles and progress

Victor L. Villemagne, Nobuyuki Okamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The military conflicts of the last decade have highlighted the growing problem of traumatic brain injury in combatants returning from the battlefield. The considerable evidence pointing at the accumulation of tau aggregates and its recognition as a risk factor in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease have led to a major effort to develop selective tau ligands that would allow research into the physiopathologic underpinnings of traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy in military personnel and the civilian population. These tracers will allow new insights into tau pathology in the human brain, facilitating research into causes, diagnosis, and treatment of traumatic encephalopathy and major neurodegenerative dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease and some variants of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, in which tau plays a role. The field of selective tau imaging has to overcome several obstacles, some of them associated with the idiosyncrasies of tau aggregation and others related to radiotracer design. A worldwide effort has focused on the development of imaging agents that will allow selective tau imaging in vivo. Recent progress in the development of these tracers is enabling the noninvasive assessment of the extent of tau pathology in the brain, eventually allowing the quantification of changes in tau pathology over time and its relation to cognitive performance, brain volumetrics, and other biomarkers, as well as assessment of efficacy and patient recruitment for antitau therapeutic trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S254-S264
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Volume10
Issue number3 SUPPL.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Molecular neuroimaging
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Radiotracer design
  • Tau
  • Tauopathies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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