The ‘tau’ of cognition: Imaging suggests protein clumps could be Alzheimer’s biomarkers

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis have used advanced imaging to reveal that a protein in the brain known as tau is suggestive of a patient’s cognitive function, according to results of a study recently published in Science Translational Medicine.

Recent advancements in the development of imaging agents allowed researchers to vizualize tangled tau protein clumps during neurological PET scans in the brains of 46 test subjects.

Patients with normal cognitive function showed minimal tau tangles throughout the brain, while those with cognitive impairment showed a substantial increase in the amount of the protein present in the temporal lobes and cerebral cortex.

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