Margulis Award Presented for Alzheimer's Research
Tuesday, Dec. 01, 2015
The RSNA Alexander R. Margulis Award for Scientific Excellence was presented Monday to Jeffrey W. Prescott, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues for the article, "The Alzheimer Structural Connectome: Changes in Cortical Network Topology with Increased Amyloid Plaque Burden."
The award, named for Alexander R. Margulis, M.D., a distinguished investigator in the science of radiology, recognizes the best original scientific article published in a particular year in Radiology.
The article, published in the October 2014 issue of Radiology, describes the authors' investigation of the effects of Alzheimer's disease on the connectome of the central nervous system. Drawing on data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), the study evaluated differences in the connectome among patients with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, and also determined a connection between the connectome and cortical amyloid deposition.
Study authors evaluated both florbetapir PET and diffusion weighted imaging at baseline, using diffusion tensor imaging data to generate connectome data and florbetapir PET to assess localized amyloid deposition. They found that increased cortical florbetapir signal was associated with decreases in weighted structural connectome metrics, and conclude that large-scale structural network changes can be detected even in the preclinical stages of Alzheimer's disease.
That analysis holds substantial promise for trials of Alzheimer's disease therapies. Specifically, biomarker information—including the integrity of the connectome—might be studied to reduce development times for new drugs, diminish costs associated with clinical trials, improve drug safety and optimize drug efficacy.
The Margulis Award Nominating Committee and the Margulis Award Selection Committee review published manuscripts based on their novelty, quality, importance and potential scientific and clinical impacts. Committee members were impressed with the use of the international cohort of patients, the novelty of the analysis and the potential importance of the findings with respect to future therapy for Alzheimer's disease.