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Radioactive Molecules for Detection of Alpha-synuclein and Amyloid-beta in the Brain

Study Rationale:
We will develop radioactive alpha-synuclein and beta-amyloid tracers -- molecules that allow researchers and clinicians to detect these two proteins in the brain using imaging technology. We will test our two candidate tracers by giving them to people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) via injection. Alpha-synuclein is a sticky protein that clumps in the brains of people with AD and Parkinson's disease (PD), so the tracers may be useful in both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. This study will help us determine whether the tracers can potentially detect alpha-synuclein in the brains of people with these diseases.

We aim to assess the ability of the tracers to detect alpha-synuclein in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

Study Design:
To confirm eligibility, we will request that potential participants undergo a positron emission tomography (PET) scan -- an imaging procedure used to diagnose Alzheimer's -- 30 days or less prior to the tracer treatment. Eligible individuals will then receive a tracer injection followed by another PET scan and a follow-up phone interview several days later.

Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson's disease:
Radioactive tracers, when used with a PET technology, can help diagnose Parkinson's and track its progression by showing the amount and location of alpha-synuclein in the brain of people with PD.

Next Steps for Development:
If these tracers successfully detect alpha-synuclein in the brain, they can continue to be developed for clinical use.


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