High Availability of the α7-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor in Brains of Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study Using 18F-ASEM PET
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Emerging evidence supports a hypothesized role for the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease. 18F-ASEM (3-(1,4-diazabicyclo[3.2.2]nonan-4-yl)-6-18F-fluorodibenzo[b,d]thiophene 5,5-dioxide) is a radioligand for estimating the availability of α7-nAChR in the brain in vivo with PET. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 14 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a prodromal stage to dementia, and 17 cognitively intact, elderly controls completed 18F-ASEM PET. For each participant, binding in each region of interest was estimated using Logan graphical analysis with a metabolite-corrected arterial input function. Results: Higher 18F-ASEM binding was observed in MCI patients than in controls across all regions, supporting higher availability of α7-nAChR in MCI. 18F-ASEM binding was not associated with verbal memory in this small MCI sample. Conclusion: These data support use of 18F-ASEM PET to examine further the relationship between α7-nAChR availability and MCI.
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