Alex Whittington, PhD, is a Neuro-PET R&D scientist at Invicro LLC. His research focuses on using mathematical modelling of PET data to better understand amyloid and tau accumulation in neurodegenerative diseases. He was the guest speaker at a lecture organized by the MGH Gordon Center. Below is the presentation summary provided through the courtesy of Dr. Whittington.
Neuritic plaques formed primarily of amyloid-β (Aβ) are one of the two pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and can be non-invasively imaged and quantified in vivo using Aβ-positron emission tomography (PET). Imaging studies over the last decade have shown a consistent spatial accumulation pattern of Aβ in AD.
Spatiotemporal modelling of Aβ-PET imaging data can be used to provide evidence that Aβ accumulation starts in all brain regions simultaneously and that its spatiotemporal distribution is a result of heterogeneous regional carrying capacities (regional maximum possible concentration of Aβ) for the aggregated protein rather than longer term spreading from seed regions.
Further, using this modelling process a novel sensitive imaging outcome measure, AβL can be derived which accurately quantifies the Aβ burden for an individual Aβ-PET scan. In future Aβ imaging studies, using AβL will substantial increase in power over currently employed quantification methods.