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  A. The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Narrator: This is Science Today. The National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, has announced a five-year, 60 million dollar Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. More than 50 sites across the United States and Canada will participate, including the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. William Jagust, a professor of public health and neurosciences, will lead the initiative’s research on PET scans as a predictor of Alzheimer’s disease.

Jagust: We’ve developed a team that’s working together and has the job of standardizing how the PET scans are done, because in order to compare them across all these sites, we have to be very careful about how we do the scans and acquire the PET data.

Narrator: The PET scans will be used to measure glucose metabolism in the brain – reductions of which are known to be present in Alzheimer’s disease.

Jagust: The goal here is to see if these changes in glucose metabolism will predict who’s going to go on to develop Alzheimer’s and also, it will help us plan drug trials in the future.

Narrator: For Science Today, I’m Larissa Branin.