Affiliation: School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Central South University, Changsha 410013, China.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive decline in multiple cognitive domains and it becomes the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. There is an urgent need for the early diagnosis and treatment of AD to ease caregiver burden and medical costs, as well as improve patients’ living activities associated with the dramatic increasing number of affected individuals. Molecular imaging with target-specific probes is contributing to identify the underlying biology in AD, which benefits to the early diagnosis of AD and the evaluation of anti-AD therapy. Molecular imaging probes, such as 11C-PIB, 11C-MP4A, 18F-AV-45, and 11F-FDG, can selectively bind to special bimolecular of AD or accurately accumulate at the location of damage areas, thus become an edge tool for a better management of the diseases in the clinical practice and new drug development. In the past decades, a large variety of probes is being developed and tested to be useful for the early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, patient selection for disease-modifying therapeutic trials and monitoring the effect of anti-amyloid therapy. Since imaging probes may also help to guide physicians to identify those patients that could best benefit from a given therapeutic regimen, dose, or duration of drug, this paper is to present a perspective of the available imaging probes for AD, classified on different modalities. Meanwhile, recent advances of those probes that have been selected for clinical trials and are at the different stages of the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) approval are outlined. Additionally, future directions and specific application of imaging strategies designed for both diagnosis and treatment for AD are discussed.