With aging comes the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), a degenerative brain disorder that is rated as the number one cause of dementia. Aging also carries the risk of cerebrovascular disease, traditionally considered to be the second leading cause of dementia. There is accumulating evidence that cerebrovascular disease plays a key role in neurodegeneration, and maybe the most common form of dementia in the elderly. Given that cerebrovascular disease is a key factor in the pathophysiology of AD, early detection and treatment of a cerebrovascular disease may reduce the risk of AD with aging.
Age-related dementia is a global health problem affecting over 50 million people worldwide at an estimated cost of over $818 billion. Dementia affects more than 8 million seniors in the US alone at an estimated total cost of $277 billion. 
Technology Overview
In this invention, Quantitative vascular mapping of the rat brain starts with the acquisition of pre- and post- ferumoxytol scans. A 3D ultra-short time-to-echo (UTE) sequence with optimized parameters for blood contrast and quantification are utilized. A voxel-wise calculation for the quantitative CBV (qCBV) is performed to produce the qCBV map using a two-volume blood/tissue model with knowledge of blood intensity obtained from large vessels. Statistically significant abnormalities are found by comparing healthy, normal vasculature to the genetically modified model of disease in rats.
- Micro- and mean-vascular measurements per region can be used to identify statistical variance in normal aging
- for detecting brain modifications that occur before dementia onset require a large group number for relevant statistics which is done with functional MRI (fMRI). Here detection is possible per measurement and is thus appropriate for the single vascular assay
- Dynamic measurements in response to a challenge, such as the CO2 challenge, are common practice in the clinic. Metabolic dysfunction included an enduring response to challenges, this may improve characterization or sensitivity of disease
- The vascular biomarker described here can be used for early diagnosis, prognosis, projection of costs for caring for patients and as a biomarker for drug development
Early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
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Patent Information:
1. Life Science
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Codi Gharagouzloo
Craig Ferris