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Tracking Alzheimer’s disease progression at the earliest stages: a multimodal project

Principal Investigator:
  • Sylvia Villeneuve,

    Douglas Hospital Research Centre
    (McGill University)

Team Members:
  • John Breitner, McGill University
  • Alzheimer Society of Canada

Project Overview

New neuroimaging techniques enable us to measure the key hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology before symptoms appear. The AD pathologic process is known to begin decades before the appearance of dementia symptoms such as memory or language deficits. Therefore, Dr. Villeneuve will use these new imaging methods alongside existing techniques to identify and measure the progress of AD pathology in asymptomatic persons at-risk – i.e., the people most likely to benefit from early detection and preventive intervention. Specifically, in a cohort of at-risk persons already under longitudinal observation for evolving signs of pre-symptomatic AD, we will measure and characterize the presence and progression of amyloid- β and tau pathology as key pathological hallmarks of AD. Alongside disease marker information already being gathered in this cohort, these new techniques will dramatically improve the measurement of early AD pathology, thereby aiding the development of interventions that can prevent disease progression to symptomatic stages.