Mild Cognitive Impairment is a condition of forgetfulness in the absence of other problems. In some subjects it can represent a transition phase between normal cognition and later Alzheimer’s disease though in others it is entirely benign and may reverse. The memory difficulties arising from Alzheimer’s disease are associated with deposition of abnormal proteins in the brain, one of which is called beta-amyloid. Additionally, evidence of brain inflammation can be found. Using a special brain scan called a PET scan we have been able to detect significantly increased amyloid deposition and neuroinflammation in 90% of people with probable Alzheimer’s disease.
The aim of this study is to determine how often amyloid and inflammation can be detected in subjects complaining of isolated memory problems and to determine the relationship between these two processes. We will do this by asking subjects with isolated memory problems to have PET/CT scans at the Imanova building at the Hammersmith Hospital and at the imaging department at Charing Cross Hospital (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust). We hope that with these PET/CT scans we will be able to determine whether inflammation in the brain happens before amyloid levels increase. If this is the case, in the future we hope to determine whether the prevention of brain inflammation could prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease.Amyloid and NI in subjects at risk of Alzheimer’s disease