Background Tau aggregation has been implicated in the pathological process and clinical expression in Huntington’s disease (HD). Detection of cerebral pathological Tau protein deposits may therefore be useful to track and predict disease progression.
Methods We report on three manifest HD patients, who underwent [18F]AV-1451 PET and were compared to age-matched controls. PET images were acquired using a PET-Siemens Biograph mCT Flow-Edge 128 scanner (Siemens, Knoxville, TN). All patients were scanned for 15 minutes, 97 ± 10 minutes after intravenous injection of 218 ± 95 MBq of [18F]-AV-1451. PET scans were co-registered to the corresponding high-resolution anatomical MR images (3 T Prisma Siemens, Erlangen) and spatially normalised to stereotactic MNI space using the normalisation parameters acquired during MR segmentation.
Results We found pathological in vivo Tau signal in HD mainly in the striatum, but also in the cortex and cerebellum. Patient 3, who was cognitively least impaired, displayed the weakest subcortical and cortical signal, while highest tau tracer uptake was observed in patient 2, presenting longest disease duration and highest total motor score as well as disease burden score.
Conclusions We conclude that Tau PET imaging in HD may enable the assessment of propagation of tau deposition, its relation to neurodegeneration and effects of potential disease-modifying interventions.