The Adler Institute for Advanced Imaging is the hub for research on earlier detection of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
The research is utilising a new generation of molecular imaging agents and a high-sensitivity, experimental research positron emission tomography (PET) brain scanner to reveal amyloid plaque, which is a strong indicator of Alzheimer's disease.
Early diagnosis using molecular imaging is possible because of investigational radioactive 'tracer' chemicals that bond inside the brain to markers for specific diseases (such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease), coupled with high-tech scanners that produce 3D images of these disease-specific diagnostics distributed within the brain.
Adler is collaborating with west Philadelphia-based Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Massachusetts-based Photodetection Systems (PDS), Meadowbrook Neurology Group in Montgomery County, and Wilmington, Delaware-based Radiologist Dr Steven Edell of Edell Radiology Management.
The team is using an advanced, dedicated brain PET scanner developed by PDS and novel brain imaging PET tracers developed by Avid.
The Adler Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital are the only facilities that have the PDS NeuroPET, a new dedicated brain PET system currently under development.
Because its high sensitivity provides high-quality brain scans using lower doses of radioactive agents, patients can undergo more frequent diagnostic scans to monitor response to therapy.
Further, the Avid AV-45 imaging compound is designed to provide higher quality imaging results at lower radioactive doses.
Working together, the investigators hope to someday allow the widespread application of PET imaging for neurology applications.
These research experiments promise better diagnostic results, deliver far less risk exposure, and will hopefully allow more widespread availability of PET imaging for neurological applications - just as the emergence of new, more highly targeted imaging agents for specific neurologic disorders greatly expands demand for PET imaging of the brain.