CME Sessions at EANM’09

EANM’09 – CME Session XII

Neuroimaging / Drug Development
October 14, 2009, 08:00 – 09:30
Imaging Targets for Dementia

Moderator: K. Tatsch (Karlsruhe)
Co-Moderator: C. Halldin (Stockholm)

K. Herholz (Manchester):
Targets in Dementia
C. Halldin (Stockholm):
Imaging Tracers
K. Tatsch (Karlsruhe):
Clinical Imaging

Educational objectives:

Upon completion of this course the attendee will be able to:

    1. Identify various targets for dementia interesting for imaging with PET.
    2. Describe different tracers useful for visualizing some of the targets interesting for imaging with PET.
    3. Appreciate the updated results of clinical imaging studies conducted in dementia so far.


Molecular imaging techniques have a huge potential to visualize molecular alterations in the brain. With their help, a disease such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) can in principal be recognised distinctively with high sensitivity in its early phase. Pre-clinical diagnosis of neurodegenerative dementias – with AD being the most important one -, however, is still seriously hampered by the lack of dedicated diagnostic tracers or biomarkers. PET and SPECT have the potential to identify very early molecular dysfunctions that are predictive of future development of neurodegeneration. However, a basic problem for diagnosing dementia using nuclear medicine based molecular imaging still is that PET tracers are not available for all the different molecular targets of interest. The recent trend in identifying early disease stages is related to the search for relevant disease biomarkers. Biomarkers are anatomic, physiologic, biochemical, or molecular parameters associated with the presence and severity of specific disease states. Biomarkers are detectable and measurable by a variety of methods. They can be objectively measured, parametrically quantified and evaluated as an indicator of normal biologic processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention. Imaging biomarkers are the subset of biomarkers that manifest themselves via imaging means, including the molecular imaging techniques PET or SPECT. They have a tremendous potential for accelerating the development of pharmaceuticals and therapeutic devices, as well as for improving the quality of patient care. Despite the fact that the search for novel imaging biomarkers for AD and other neurodegenerative dementias has been intensified since the advent and widespread diagnostic applications of PET during the past two decades, there are still no optimal imaging biomarkers available for routine diagnostic use.
This CME will cover both, information about all targets interesting for dementia as well as the imaging biomarker tracers available today and finally give an update of clinical molecular imaging studies published in dementia.

Key Words:

Dementia, Imaging Tracers, Alzheimer’s Disease, Biomarkers, Drug Development, PET

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