​Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by increasing deterioration of cognitive performance, dementia and loss of memory capabilities. The alzheimer's disease is determined at a cellular level by the formation of plaques of beta-amyloid peptides (aß-plaques) which can already form many years before the occurrence of the clinical symptoms.

​A problem in diagnosis and extension of the therapy of alzheimer's disease and in the development of effective therapies is that up to today it is only possible to diagnose the disease post-mortem by staining the aß-plaques. ​The possibility of detecting aß-plaques in the living organism would, in particular, be of interest, since the formation of the aß-plaques begins significantly before the onset of the clinical symptoms and thus a clearly earlier detection and therapy of alzheimer's disease would be possible by such a detection.

There are already various approaches for marking and visualizing ass-piaques. The invention relates to compounds that are described in WO 2005/016934, which are structurally similar to the present compounds and which are described as fluorescent dyes for aß-plaques. However, these compounds have shown that they are unsuitable for alzheimer's diagnosis in humans, since their fluorescence cannot be observed in the human skull.

Patent specification (external link)