Journal article

Imaging brain amyloid deposition using grating-based differential phase contrast tomography

One of the core pathological features of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain. Current efforts of medical imaging research aim at visualizing amyloid plaques in living patients in order to evaluate the progression of the pathology, but also to facilitate the diagnosis of AD at the prodromal stage. In this study, we evaluated the capabilities of a new experimental imaging setup to image amyloid plaques in the brain of a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. This imaging setup relies on a grating interferometer at a synchrotron X-ray source to measure the differential phase contrast between brain tissue and amyloid plaques. It provides high-resolution images with a large field of view, making it possible to scan an entire mouse brain. Here, we showed that this setup yields sufficient contrast to detect amyloid plaques and to quantify automatically several important structural parameters, such as their size and their regional density in 3D, on the scale of a whole mouse brain. Whilst future developments are required to apply this technique in vivo, this grating-based setup already gives the possibility to perform powerful studies aiming at quantifying the amyloid pathology in mouse models of AD and might accelerate the evaluation of anti-amyloid compounds. In addition, this technique may also facilitate the development of other amyloid imaging methods such as positron emission tomography (PET) by providing convenient high-resolution 3D data of the plaque distribution for multimodal comparison. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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