A method for producing a solution including a positron emitting zinc cation of .sup.63Zn, and the method comprises bombarding a solution target including .sup.63Cu with high energy protons to produce a solution including a positron emitting zinc cation. A method for detecting or ruling out Alzheimer's disease in a patient comprises administering to a patient a detectable amount of a compound including a positron emitting zinc cation, wherein the zinc cation is targeted to beta-amyloid in the patient, and acquiring an image to detect the presence or absence of beta-amyloid in the patient.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 This invention was made with government support under SC0008947 awarded by Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.