Researchers used the PET imaging agent Pittsburgh Compound B to image beta-amyloid plaque, a protein linked to Alzheimer's disease, in the brains of 159 people between 2004 and 2008. The study participants were 51 to 88 years old and had no symptoms of cognitive impairment when the study began. Nine were later diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and 23 developed mild impairments. The findings indicate that PET imaging could help diagnose and treat the disease at its early stage, long before it affects patient's memory, the researchers said.

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