Study Aims to Uncover Benefits of PET Scans for Alzheimer?s Disease

Posted by PET / CT of Las Colinas on July 23rd, 2016

Gaining greater insights into the potential benefits of positron emission tomography in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is the focus of a large-scale study currently under way in America. The study is anticipated to involve more than 18,000 patients to help gauge the overall effectiveness of using this highly common test in the diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers are conducting the study to weigh the clinical value of using PET scans to detect the accumulation of brain amyloid in patients. Amyloid is a signature protein that shows up as plaque on the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Being able to detect its presence can help guide doctors to a firm diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or enable them to rule out the disease and move onto to other possibilities as the root cause for a patient’s impairment or dementia.  Courtesy of advancements in tracer drugs used in PET scans, doctors have been able to better detect the presence or absence of amyloid in brain scans.

Determining the value and effectiveness of amyloid PET scans has the potential to be a major breakthrough in the detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Heretofore, Alzheimer’s disease has been extremely difficult to diagnose at its onset with a high degree of certainty. A correct diagnosis, however, can open the door to potentially beneficial early treatments that may slow the progression of the disease. While no known cure exists for Alzheimer’s, there are drugs that can benefit patients greatly in slowing down the disease’s developments. A correct diagnosis, however, is required to ensure the use of the right drugs. What’s more, many other forms of dementia exist, each with their own treatment protocols. Being able to diagnose or rule out Alzheimer’s may help patients gain access to proper treatments earlier.

It is estimated that more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. This progressive disease slowly alters the brain as plaque develops. The disease typically begins with minor cognitive impairments and memory loss. It may eventually progress to the point that patients are no longer able to perform mundane daily tasks.

Gaining a better handle on the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease could be a major step forward in treatment. While time will tell if amyloid PET scans offer the necessary insights, this test is showing a great deal of promise. The study may pave the way for more widespread use of scans to help doctors swiftly diagnose the disease and provide patients with important treatments to enable a higher quality of life longer.

About Author

PET / CT of Las Colinas was developed with both patients and physicians in mind and our services have been used for various types of disease; primarily in detecting, staging and monitoring cancer, but also in heart disease and brain disorders.

Like it? Share it!

PET / CT of Las Colinas

About the Author

PET / CT of Las Colinas
Joined: February 23rd, 2016
Articles Posted: 20

More by this author