Objective: To investigate the topographical distribution of tau pathology and its effect on functional and structural changes in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) by using 18 F-AV-1451 PET. Methods: We included 20 patients with AD, 15 patients with MCI, and 20 healthy controls, and performed neuropsychological function tests, MRI, as well as 18 F-florbetaben (for amyloid) and 18 F-AV-1451 (for tau) PET scans. By using the regional volume-of-interest masks extracted from MRIs, regional binding values of standardized uptake value ratios and volumes were measured. We compared regional binding values among 3 diagnostic groups and identified correlations among the regional binding values, performance in each cognitive function test, and regional atrophy. Results: 18 F-AV-1451 binding was increased only in the entorhinal cortex in patients with MCI, while patients with AD exhibited greater binding in most cortical regions. In the 35 patients with MCI and AD, 18 F-AV-1451 binding in most of the neocortex increased with a worsening of global cognitive function. The visual and verbal memory functions were associated with the extent of 18 F-AV-1451 binding, especially in the medial temporal regions. The 18 F-AV-1451 binding also correlated with the severity of regional atrophy of the cerebral cortex. Conclusions: Tau PET imaging with 18 F-AV-1451 could serve as an in vivo biomarker for the evaluation of AD-related tau pathology and monitoring disease progression. The accumulation of pathologic tau is more closely related to functional and structural deterioration in the AD spectrum than β-amyloid.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology