Federal Grant to Fund Study of Potential Imaging Biomarker for Alzheimer’s

Kiran K. Solingapuram Sai, PhDSchool of Medicine researchers have received a five-year grant worth approximately $2.53 million from the National Institute on Aging to evaluate whether a novel brain-imaging technique can identify Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages.

Using an animal model, the researchers will employ a tracer for positron emission tomography (PET scanning) to image microtubules—microscopic tubes that help define the structure and movement of cells—in the brain.

“Microtubules are message carriers within neurons that are very tightly bundled in a healthy brain,” said the project’s lead investigator, Kiran Solingapuram Sai, PhD, assistant professor of radiology. “If microtubules start disintegrating or detangling, they can’t do their job anymore. The neurons begin to degenerate and cognition declines.”