"A New Tool for Clinical Neuroscience—Synaptic Imaging" - JAMA Network. 07/16/2018
Synaptic loss is associated with cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease. In this JAMA editorial, Elizabeth Mormino and William Jagust introduce novel experimental research to measure this loss in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or AD using brain neuroimaging (PET scans) to measure the density of a specific protein, SV2A, found in synaptic terminals – measures heretofore possible only post-mortem.
The PET scans showed that people with MCI or AD had significantly decreased synaptic density compared to cognitively normal participants. The authors note that “a reliable measure of synaptic density in living people would provide both a better measure of disease progression and could help objectively evaluate treatment response in clinical trials of disease-modifying drugs.”