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AAIC 2021 | Preliminary data on the use of SV2A as a biomarker of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease

Alexandra DiFilippo, BS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, describes an ongoing study examining synaptic loss of patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer 11C-UCB-J can be used to image synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) in vivo. The study is using this imaging to track the course of synapse degradation with AD disease progression, and investigate how it relates to pathological protein aggregate accumulation as well as cognitive function. Preliminary data from 24 patients has shown a relationship between UCB-J uptake in the hippocampus and cognitive function, as well as Aβ and tau tangle accumulation. However, Ms DiFilippo notes that the data are currently skewed towards cognitively unimpaired subjects who are Aβ and tau negative, and that the study is ongoing as more subjects will be imaged. Furthermore, she hopes that imaging more subjects with a significant accumulation of Aβ and tau will enable the study to determine how UCB-J interacts with these indicators of disease progression. This interview took place during the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), 2021.