New PET tracer effective for imaging early Alzheimer's disease

By staff writers

June 17, 2021 -- Australian researchers found F-18 MK-6240 is a promising new PET tracer for detecting early pathology associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to research presented on 14 June at the annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

Researchers sought to identify patterns and rates of tau accumulation in both a cognitively normal aging population and in those with Alzheimer's disease. They performed PET imaging with F-18 MK-6240 on all participants at baseline and after 12 months. After each scan, uptake of the radiotracer was measured in multiple areas of the brain.

Results suggest longitudinal tau imaging was effective in discriminating between the two cohorts. The uptake of new PET tracer was higher at baseline and after one year in participants who were on the Alzheimer's disease continuum compared with the cognitively normal aging participants.

F-18 MK-6240 was developed by Merck scientists and tested in animal studies in 2016.

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