Miami, FL – Data presented at the 6th Annual Human Amyloid Imaging (HAI) meeting in Miami suggest that the investigational imaging agent [18F] Flutemetamol could add value to current diagnostic tools used by physicians to evaluate neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimers Disease (AD). [18F]Flutemetamol is a GE Healthcare PET imaging agent in phase III development for the detection of beta amyloid.

Data presented in two abstracts from a clinical trial of [18F]Flutemetamol in patients with suspected Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), a progressive condition associated with dementia, gait abnormalities and urinary incontinence, undergoing shunt placement, correlated [18F]Flutemetamol uptake with histopathological tissue biopsies for beta amyloid in vivo. In a third abstract from another study, researchers correlated [18F]Flutemetamol uptake and structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in healthy volunteers and patients with a clinical diagnosis of AD or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Specifically:

  • [18F]-Flutemetamol uptake demonstrated a strong concordance with histopathology in subjects with NPH independent of timing and sequence of examinations.
  • [18F]-Flutemetamol PET uptake showed 100 percent sensitivity and specificity with histopathology in a selected subset of subjects with NPH.
  • In a subset of patients with MCI, increased [18F]-Flutemetamol uptake and decreased hippocampal volume were seen in those with progressive MCI versus those with stable MCI.

"These results support the potential role of [18F]Flutemetamol in helping physicians detect amyloid deposits in the brain," said Jonathan Allis, MI PET Segment Leader, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics. "The ability to detect amyloid deposits in the brain could enable physicians to make a more accurate and earlier diagnosis of Alzheimers Disease."

The accumulation of beta amyloid in the brain may play a role leading up to the degeneration of neurons and is one of several biomarkers implicated in the development of AD. Currently, AD is confirmed by histopathological identification of tissue biomarkers, including beta amyloid plaques, in post-mortem brain samples.   Targeted imaging agents are being studied to determine their ability to help physicians detect amyloid deposition in live humans.

[18F]Flutemetamol is one part of a broad portfolio of diagnostic solutions that GE Healthcare is currently developing in the Alzheimers field. The company is taking a comprehensive approach to understanding AD through its ongoing research to uncover the causes, risks and physical effects of the disease. GE Healthcares global commitment to advance clinical knowledge and provide a variety of technologies to aid the fight in this epidemic may assist physicians in the acceleration of diagnosis and improvement of treatment decisions in all stages of the disease.

The company already offers a range of imaging modalities used by physicians to assist in the detection of AD and dementia (CT, MRI, PET, SPECT) and has been a key contributor to the Alzheimers Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) since its inception. GE Healthcare also plays a key role in PredictAD, an EU-funded research project to develop solutions to enable earlier diagnosis of AD. In addition, GE has formed the Making an Impact on Neurodegenerative Diseases (MIND) Coalition, a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder body that aims to fill the gaps in the understanding and management of AD and Parkinsons disease.


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Posted by Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief, MDT