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Pre-symptomatic diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) exploring vascular risk and the lag phase

Dr Paul Yates, Prof Christopher Rowe, Prof Colin Masters
Research Centre DCRC Early Diagnosis and Prevention
Partner Institution Mental Health Research Institute
Project Description

Addressing the growing burden of dementia worldwide is a major public health challenge. Equally concerning is the increase in obesity, type two diabetes and associated vascular and metabolic risk being observed in many parts of the world. Several population studies have shown associations between vascular risk factors, insulin resistance, inflammation, and both Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD).

This project will use 11C-PiB PET, and structural imaging (3T-MRI) in a cohort of older Australians with Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment and normal cognition, to characterise patterns of presymptomatic AD and vascular pathology and correlate these with vascular risk factors. A better understanding of the relationship between vascular risk and dementia may facilitate the development of preventative interventions to complement disease-modifying therapies in the future.

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