Detecting Alzheimer's disease (AD) at an early stage brings a lot of benefits including disease management and actions to slow the progression of the disease. Here, we demonstrate that reduced creatine chemical exchange saturation transfer (CrCEST) contrast has the potential to serve as a new biomarker for early detection of AD. The results on wild type (WT) mice and two age-matched AD models, namely tauopathy (Tau) and Aβ amyloidosis (APP), indicated that CrCEST contrasts of the cortex and corpus callosum in the APP and Tau mice were significantly reduced compared to WT counterpart at an early stage (6-7 months) (p < 0.011). Two main causes of the reduced CrCEST contrast, i.e. cerebral pH and creatine concentration, were investigated. From phantom and hypercapnia experiments, CrCEST showed excellent sensitivity to pH variations. From MRS results, the creatine concentration in WT and AD mouse brain was equivalent, which suggests that the reduced CrCEST contrast was dominated by cerebral pH change involved in the progression of AD. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the abnormal cerebral pH in AD mice may relate to neuroinflammation, a known factor that can cause pH reduction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience