Drug May Help Diagnose Alzheimer's Earlier

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 18, 2012

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Drug May Help Diagnose Alzheimers Earlier

Florbetaben drug that diagnose beta amyloid, is known to detect Alzheimer's disease in initial stages. A recent research inferred that this drug could be a tracer for beta amyloid protein, one of the foremost characteristics of the disease. Amyvid is another drug used for diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, a radioactive drug that is recently approved by the FDA for Alzheimer's identification.

According to Marwan Sabbagh, MD, director of Banner Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City (Ariz), “After florbetaben is injected, the amyloid plaques in the brain that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease light up on a brain imaging scan called positron emission tomography (PET).” Researchers were certain that detection of beta amyloid protein before Alzheimer's development could improve outcome for patients.

During stage III testing, research panel made a comparative study on the basis of PET scans using florbetaben obtained from 31 people before they died to the brain tissue extracted in autopsies. In the study, 186 brain regions from dead donors were analysed and 60 brain regions from healthy volunteers.

Florbetaben along with other drugs are closely related to identification of Alzheimer's, so skilled medical experts could use them for diagnosing Alzheimer's. However, scans identify amyloid plaque within the brain, not Alzheimer's itself. Researchers also underlined that Alzheimer's patients always have amyloid plaque, but presence of plaque is not the only attribute to confirm Alzheimer's.

According to the experts, identifying people with Alzheimer's earlier with assistance of these drugs will advance the research. Whereas, some highlighted reason for failure of these experimental drugs, stating that these are no yet tested on people with advanced Alzheimer's disease.

Detailed report on the research will be presented at the annual meeting of American Academy of Neurology in New Orleans to be held from April 21 to April 28, 2012.



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