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NeuroPET Unit

Our research

We use Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to understand disease mechanisms and disease progression in neurodegenerative disorders. Our work focus on:

1) Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related “atypical” Parkinsonian Disorders.

2) tau PET imaging for diagnosis and tracking disease progression in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other tauopathies such as Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD) and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).

Currently, we assess two novel -synuclein PET tracers for use in Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia with Lewy bodies, and Multiple System atrophy in collaboration with the Swiss pharmaceutical company AC Immune.

Additionally, we are setting up a novel cohort to study early disease development in PD and prodromal PD in patients with REM-sleep behavioral disorder. We also contribute to the Stem-PD stem cell transplantation trial in PD (directed by Multipark member Malin Parmar).

As part of an EU Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) grant, we develop novel PET tracers for TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) pathology. This protein is associated with several forms of Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and the newly described disease entity Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE).

Aims

  • To develop biomarkers for early diagnosis in PD.

  • To establish imaging biomarkers, such as an -synuclein PET tracer, to track disease progression in PD and other synucleinopathies. 

  • To develop a PET tracer for TDP-43 pathology, to assist in diagnosis and understand disease pathogenesis in FTD, ALS, and LATE disease.

  • To assess whether tau PET can assist in the clinical diagnosis of non-AD tauopathies such as CBD or PSP.

  • To understand how and why tau spreads in AD and to study the disease progression to understand why some individuals have a more rapid disease progression.

Impact

Our aim is to develop biomarkers for an earlier diagnosis and a better understanding of the disease mechanisms of several neurodegenerative diseases. We run the projects in close relation to the Neurology and Memory clinics which guarantees an easier implementation of results into clinical practice.

How our research contributes to the goals of MultiPark

Our research addresses the aim of MultiPark's working group 6. 


Research Team & Publications

Our group is a specific subgroup within a larger context of clinical memory research and Regeneration in Movement Disorders.

Read about publications and research team members of the Regeneration in Movement Disorders in the LU Research Portal. 

Outreach

Read the news at Alzheimer’s Weekly about Ruben Smith’s discovery that Alzheimer’s protein accumulation seems to be faster in women.http://www.alzheimersweekly.com/2021/05/men-less-likely-to-develop-dementia.html

Read the news at msn about Ruben Smith’s discovery that Alzheimer’s protein accumulation seems to be faster in women.

Read about how the imaging technique Ruben Smith is using can open up new possibilities for drug development.

Read in Science Daily about the possibilities of the imaging technique Ruben Smith is using.

Profile photo of Ruben Smith
Photo: Karin Enell Smith

Ruben Smith

Physician and Associate Professor in Neurology

ruben [dot] smith [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se 

Link to Ruben Smith in Lund University research portal

Twitter:@ErikRubenSmith