A European first in Dementia research: a team of Cambridge Neuroscience investigators at the Cambridge Biomedical Research Unit in Dementia have introduced a new type of brain scan for the detection of brain changes in Dementia. For many years it has been possible to scan the build up of harmful ‘amyloid protein’ in the brain, but until now, it has not been possible to scan the damaging ‘tau protein’ that is a key part of Alzheimer’s disease and several other types of dementia. A new type of brain scan, using a chemical that lights up the damaging tau protein, has recently been developed. The NIMROD team in Cambridge, led by Professor John O'Brien (Psychiatry) and Dr James Rowe (Neurology), has worked closely with Professor Franklin Aigbirhio (Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, right) to introduce this new type of brain scan for Dementia research, with the first European study successfully undertaken this week. This is a very significant step forward for Dementia research, opening up a new way to diagnose and distinguish dementias and to test drugs that may slow down or prevent dementia.