Alzheimers disease is diagnosed by postmortem detection of pathological lesions that accumulate in specific brain regions. Although the presence of both β-amyloid plaques and tau-bearing neurofibrillary lesions defines Alzheimers disease, the distribution of neurofibrillary lesions alone correlates strongly with neurodegeneration and cognitive decline. A whole-brain imaging test capable of detecting these lesions in premortem cases could have great potential for staging and differentially diagnosing Alzheimers disease. Here we discuss the challenges in developing a whole-brain imaging approach for detection of this intracellular target.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, tau, neurofibrillary tangle, paired helical filaments