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Praise for Alzheimer progression research

23rd November 2005

Researchers have praised the results of a ground breaking new imaging agent, used to provide a clearer view of the path and impact of Alzheimer's.

Through a number of studies at the University of Pittsburgh, the agent has helped to provide doctors with information on the progression of the disease as well as showing the impact it can have on different areas in the brain.

Before the development of the Pittsburgh Compound-B (PIB), which binds to Alzheimer related deposits in the brain, doctors were unable to assess what was going on in the brain and could therefore not monitor the effectiveness of treatments.

"We've had hints about the time course of brain changes in Alzheimer's disease from autopsy studies but the current findings in living patients take these observations further," explained William Klunk, co-inventor of PIB.

"We can delineate the natural history of brain changes in Alzheimer's disease, we then have a baseline against which to judge the success of therapies designed to prevent these changes."

Future clinical trials will hopefully use PIB to test out new treatments for the disease and researchers believe it will "accelerate" the rate of development of alternative therapies.