In vivo measurement of widespread synaptic loss in Alzheimer's disease with SV2A PET

Authors: Adam P Mecca, Ming-Kai Chen, Ryan S O'Dell, Mika Naganawa, Takuya Toyonaga, Tyler A Godek, Joanna E Harris, Hugh H Bartlett, Wenzhen Zhao, Nabeel B Nabulsi, Brent C Vander Wyk, Pradeep Varma, Amy F T Arnsten, Yiyun Huang, Richard E Carson, Christopher H van Dyck


Introduction: Synaptic loss is a robust and consistent pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the major structural correlate of cognitive impairment. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) has emerged as a promising biomarker of synaptic density.

Methods: We measured SV2A binding in 34 participants with early AD and 19 cognitively normal (CN) participants using [11 C]UCB-J PET and a cerebellar reference region for calculation of the distribution volume ratio.

Results: We observed widespread reductions of SV2A binding in medial temporal and neocortical brain regions in early AD compared to CN participants. These reductions were largely maintained after correction for volume loss and were more extensive than decreases in gray matter volume.

Conclusion: We were able to measure widespread synaptic loss due to AD using [11 C]UCB-J PET. Future studies will continue to evaluate the utility of SV2A PET for tracking AD progression and for monitoring potential therapies.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; SV2A; [11C]UCB-J | PET; synaptic density.

Source: Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 2020 May 13