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Editorial
Nov 2011

Amyloid Imaging: Liberal or Conservative? Let the Data Decide

Arch Neurol. 2011;68(11):1377-1378. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.152

Although disagreement about the role that the β-amyloid (Aβ) protein plays in Alzheimer disease (AD) abounds, it continues to occupy a central position in both theories of etiology and diagnostic schema. Recently revised criteria for the diagnosis of AD and predementia AD-related conditions include the measurement of Aβ in cerebrospinal fluid or the brain to determine the likelihood of AD.1-3 It is not surprising, therefore, that the use of positron emission tomography (PET) to detect and quantify Aβ is a topic of active investigation. Although the short-lived carbon 11–labeled Pittsburgh Compound B ([11C]PIB) has been available for a number of years and is the most widely studied PET amyloid imaging agent, the recent advent of longer-lived radiopharmaceuticals labeled with fluorine 18 (18F) have made this technology more available and commercially viable. In this issue of the Archives, 2 articles4,5 dealing with 2 different 18F amyloid imaging agents continue to advance the field.

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