(HealthDay News) – For individuals without dementia, increases in 2-(1-{6-[(2-fluorine 18-labeled fluoroethyl)methylamino]-2-napthyl}ethylidene) malononitrile ([18F]FDDNP) positron emission tomography (PET) binding in brain regions are associated with future cognitive decline, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Gary W. Small, MD, from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues investigated whether [18F]FDDNP brain regional values predict and correlate with future cognitive change in individuals without dementia. Longitudinal [18F]FDDNP PET binding values were measured for 43 adults (median age, 64 years), including 21 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 22 with normal aging.

The investigators found that, in the entire study sample, increased frontal, posterior cingulate, and global binding at follow-up were associated with progression of memory decline after two years. Higher baseline [18F]FDDNP correlated with future decreases in most cognitive domains, including language, executive, visuospatial, and attention abilities. Frontal and parietal [18F]FDDNP binding had the greatest diagnostic accuracy for identifying MCI converters to Alzheimer’s disease after two years (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC], 0.88) compared with medial temporal binding (AUC, 0.68).

“Because binding patterns predict future cognitive decline and increase over time along with clinical decline, [18F]FDDNP PET scanning may have practical utility in identifying people at risk for future cognitive decline and in tracking the effectiveness of novel interventions designed to prevent or delay neurodegeneration and cognitive decline,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The University of California owns a patent that uses the approach outlined in this study.

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