Alzheimer’s Researchers First to Measure How Tau Protein Spreads in Brain

Alzheimer’s Researchers First to Measure How Tau Protein Spreads in Brain
Researchers, for the first time, have measured how tau protein spreads in the brains of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease or its prodromal (early) stages. The discovery suggests that tau accumulation is linked to problems with episodic memory. But it was changes in brain glucose metabolism, rather than tau, that were linked to a decline in overall cognition among these patients. Although researchers detected differences in tau accumulation between patients in early and later stage disease, they noted that the rates of how the protein spread differed from one patient to another. The study, “Longitudinal changes of tau PET imaging in relation to hypometabolism in prodromal and Alzheimer's disease dementia,” was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. "There's been an international race to measure tau spread, and we probably got there first," Agneta Nordberg, MD, PhD, the study’s senior author said in a press release. "There are no previous reports on how tau deposits spread after 17 months into the disease. Our results can improve understanding of tau accumulation in Alzheimer's disease, help ongoing research to quantify the effect of tau vaccines, and enable early diagnosis," added Nordberg, who is a professor at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Nordberg and her team performed the study together with colleagues at Uppsala University, who measured tau levels in patien
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