This is an Alzforum (alzforum.org) article about important researcher into tauopathies by researchers at Mass General. The article was posted last week to Alzforum; the research study was published online in JAMA Neurology a couple of weeks ago.
What the researchers confirmed is that there is a “tight correlation between tau neurofibrillary tangles and neurodegeneration in individual patients in early clinical stages of various forms of Alzheimer’s disease.” Three patients with typical Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) were studies, and three patients with atypical AD were studied. One of the “atypical AD” cases was a person with corticobasal syndrome (CBS)
In this study, all patients were given a tau PET scan, an amyloid PET scan, and an MRI. Researchers found that “tau predicts atrophy [which] predicts symptoms.” It is not the protein amyloid in the brain that predicts atrophy or predicts symptoms.
In fact, we have known this from brain donation for a long time but now researchers have confirmed this in living patients.
Perhaps one reason that a CBS patient was studied rather than a PSP (progressive supranuclear palsy) patient is that the tau load in CBD is greater than in PSP.
Here’s a link to the article:
Multimodal Imaging Ties Tau to Neurodegeneration, and Symptoms
07 Mar 2017
It is challenging reading. Check it out online for cool images of the patient with corticobasal syndrome.