A new compound has allowed researchers to see plaques in the brain of living Alzheimer’s sufferers, a development being hailed as a breakthrough for research into the devastating illness.

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden, have completed the first human study of the compound, simply called Pittsburgh Compound B.

“PIB has given us a new tool to view the amount of amyloid in the brains of living Alzheimer’s disease patients,” says William Klunk, one of its developers. “Using PIB, we will likely be able to follow the progression of the disease and speed the development of promising new therapies aimed at halting the build-up of amyloid in the brain.”

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