AD molecular: PET amyloid imaging across the Alzheimer's disease spectrum: From disease mechanisms to prevention

Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2019:165:63-106. doi: 10.1016/bs.pmbts.2019.05.001. Epub 2019 Jun 8.


The advent of amyloid-beta (Aβ) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has transformed the field of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by enabling the quantification of cortical Aβ accumulation and propagation in vivo. This revolutionary tool has made it possible to measure direct associations between Aβ and other AD biomarkers, to identify factors that influence Aβ accumulation and to redefine entry criteria into clinical trials as well as measure drug target engagement. This chapter summarizes the main findings on the associations of Aβ with other biomarkers of disease progression across the AD spectrum. It discusses investigations of the timing at which Aβ pathology starts to accumulate, demonstrates the clinical utility of Aβ PET imaging and discusses some ethical implications. Finally, it presents genetic and potentially modifiable lifestyle factors that might influence Aβ accumulation and therefore be targets for AD prevention.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid; Diagnosis; Imaging; PET; Pathology; Prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Alzheimer Disease / prevention & control*
  • Amyloid / metabolism*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / complications
  • Humans
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*


  • Amyloid
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides