Does increased microglial activation lead to faster progression in PSP?

Subcortical neuroinflammatory changes are associated with faster subsequent clinical progression in PSP

Over the last 20 years, positron emission tomography (PET) with ligands for translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) has been increasingly implemented to image microglial activation in neurodegenerative disorders. This PET technique offers the unique possibility of examining ‘neuropathology in vivo’ and correlating the findings with clinical parameters, as well as carrying out longitudinal studies.

Various neurodegenerative disorders have been examined using TSPO PET, leading to different and to some extent conflicting results regarding the role of neuroinflammation and microglial activation.1

Malpetti et al2 demonstrate in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) that microglial activation and tau burden, in the brainstem and cerebellum as measured with PET, correlated with annual rate of change in the PSP rating scale, while MRI markers of atrophy did not predict the rate of clinical progression.

They conclude that molecular imaging with PET for…

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