A MedTech West seminar – Imaging biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease

New diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) incorporate biomarkers in the diagnostic criteria and suggests division of biomarkers into two categories:  Aβ accumulation and neuronal injury. Amyloid PET is a marker of Aβ while MRI-based measurement of brain atrophy is a marker of neuronal injury. These biomarkers have different temporal ordering and are complementary. In this seminar, we will present methods for computation of these two types of biomarkers. Different tracers for PET amyloid imaging will be presented and strategies for converting results from one tracer to another will be discussed. Furthermore, we will discuss automated quantification methods and strategies for computation of thresholds for categorization of scans into Aβ- and Aβ+ and we will compare quantitative categorization with categorization using visual assessment with trained readers. The seminar will also compare amyloid PET with hippocampus volume measurements in MRI and the performance of these biomarkers, individually and combined, for prediction of conversion from mild cognitive impairment to dementia will be presented.

The next step is to combine not only imaging biomarkers, but all data that is available. In PredictND, a project funded under the EU 7th Framework Programme, the goal is to develop new methods for enabling earlier and more reliable diagnostics of different memory disorders in clinical practice. The way to do this is to provide computer-based tools that help clinicians form a holistic view of the patient by combining information from several sources, such as clinical tests, imaging and blood samples, and by comparing these measurements to previously diagnosed cases available in hospital databases. The concepts used in PredictND will be will be presented and discussed.

Lennart Thurfjell is employed by GE Healthcare and is appointed as adjunct professor in neuroimaging at the University of Gothenburg with placement at MedTech West. At GE Healthcare, he leads a group working with research and development in the area of biomarkers in dementia, with focus on PET amyloid imaging. His research interest includes image registration, visualization and methods for combining heterogeneous data for early detection of changes and for prediction of disease progression.

Date: May 19, 2014

Time: 11:30-12:15 (-13:00 incl lunch)
Location: Förmaket, Vita Stråket 12, Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Register by sending an email to seminars@medtechwest.se. A light lunch will be served at the venue to registered participants.
Please write “MTW seminar May 19” in the subject line. Last day for registration is May 16.