Tau positron emission tomographic imaging in aging and early Alzheimer disease

Ann Neurol. 2016 Jan;79(1):110-9. doi: 10.1002/ana.24546. Epub 2015 Dec 15.


Objective: Detection of focal brain tau deposition during life could greatly facilitate accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer disease (AD), staging and monitoring of disease progression, and development of disease-modifying therapies.

Methods: We acquired tau positron emission tomography (PET) using (18)F T807 (AV1451), and amyloid-β PET using (11)C Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) in older clinically normal individuals, and symptomatic patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild AD dementia.

Results: We found abnormally high cortical (18)F T807 binding in patients with mild cognitive impairment and AD dementia compared to clinically normal controls. Consistent with the neuropathology literature, the presence of elevated neocortical (18)F T807 binding particularly in the inferior temporal gyrus was associated with clinical impairment. The association of cognitive impairment was stronger with inferior temporal (18)F T807 than with mean cortical (11)C PIB. Regional (18)F T807 was correlated with mean cortical (11)C PiB among both impaired and control subjects.

Interpretation: These findings suggest that (18)F T807 PET could have value as a biomarker that reflects both the progression of AD tauopathy and the emergence of clinical impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Carbolines / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / metabolism*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism
  • Thiazoles
  • tau Proteins / metabolism*


  • 2-(4'-(methylamino)phenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Biomarkers
  • Carbolines
  • Thiazoles
  • tau Proteins
  • 7-(6-fluoropyridin-3-yl)-5H-pyrido(4,3-b)indole