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PET Imaging with [18F]XTRA

Active, not recruiting

This trial will test a brain imaging agent called [18F]XTRA, used with positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, to determine if it works better than existing agents to show α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the extrathalamic regions of the human brain. Imaging these regions may prove to be useful in detecting early changes and following functional deterioration in diseases such as Alzheimer's. Healthy volunteers age 18 to 85 years old and people with Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment age 60 to 85 years old are invited to participate.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
18 Years 85 Years Both Yes
February 2013
February 2016

  • Healthy volunteers, ages 18-85, and people with Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment, ages 60-85
  • Screening laboratory test results within normal limits for gender and age
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) conducted within 10 days before the PET study and again within 10 days after the study
  • Participant agrees to return to the study site for follow-up ECG and laboratory testing of blood and urine 

  • History of epilepsy, focal structural central nervous system abnormality, such as stroke, or arteriovenous malformation
  • History of head injury with loss of consciousness for more than 1 hour
  • Active substance abuse (drugs or alcohol) or active nicotine use
  • ECG demonstrating the participant is not in a sinus rhythm or is having acute ischemia
  • Any medical condition that would constitute a safety risk to the participant
  • Any radiation exposure in the past calendar year that, in combination with the radiation exposure from this study, would exceed 5 rem
  • Contraindications to MRI scanning if MRI is to be obtained, including pacemakers, metallic implants/prosthesis, or prohibitive claustrophobia
  • Contraindications to PET scanning, including pregnancy (female participants of childbearing potentia must test negative for pregnancy within 10 days before PET scan

The use of PET imaging of α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the extrathalamic regions of the brain may help detect early changes in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease and follow the disease as it progresses. The extrathalamic regions include the hippocampus, cortex and caudate. Furthermore, PET imaging of these receptors may allow investigation and development of new therapies acting on the acetylcholine system, neurotransmitters that play a role in Alzheimer's.

This study is designed to determine brain uptake of the imaging agent [18F]XTRA. Participants will receive an injection of the agent, followed by a PET scan.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore Maryland 21287

Johns Hopkins University

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Name Role Affiliation
Martin G. Pomper, PhD Principal Investigator Johns Hopkins University

Name Phone Email
Martin G. Pomper, PhD 410-955-2789
Jennifer M. Coughlin, MD 410-746-6072


PET Imaging of Extrathalamic α4β2-nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Health and Disease With [18F]XTRA