08 November 2011

New Binding Agent + PET Scan Reveals Hidden Brain Degeneration


A team of researchers from UCLA have developed a new binding agent, FDDNP, which when used with PET scanning reveals areas of degenerative brain in persons with MDD, major depressive disorder.
In a small study published in the November issue of the peer-reviewed journal Archives of General Psychiatry, UCLA researchers used a unique brain scan to assess the levels of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in older adults with a type of severe depression called major depressive disorder (MDD).

...UCLA researchers have created a chemical marker called FDDNP that binds to both plaque and tangle deposits, which can then be viewed through a positron emission tomography (PET) brain scan, providing a "window into the brain." Using this method, researchers are able to pinpoint where in the brain these abnormal protein deposits are accumulating.

Researchers compared the FDDNP brain scans of 20 older adults between ages 60 to 82 who had been diagnosed with MDD with the scans of 19 healthy controls of similar age, education and gender.
They found that in patients with MDD, FDDNP binding was significantly higher throughout the brain and in critical brain regions, including the posterior cingulate and lateral temporal areas, that are involved in decision-making, complex reasoning, memory and emotions.

"This is the first study using FDDNP to assess the abnormal protein levels in brains of older adults with severe depression," said the study's senior author, Dr. Gary Small, UCLA's Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging and a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. "The findings suggest that the higher protein load in critical brain regions may contribute to the development of severe depression in late life." _MedXPress
There are, in fact, a large number of hidden problems within the brains of many adults. Finding better ways of revealing the problems is the job of neuroscientists, nuclear scientists, radiologists, and an array of clinicians.

Once you find the problem, however, there may not be many useful solutions -- yet. But recent tools for eliminating senescent cells, and replacing old cells with new replacement cells, may become a large part of the solution.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts