Study Reveals PET Scans Improved Alzheimer’s Diagnosis and Management

Bradley DiTeresi

Bradley DiTeresi

Bradley DiTeresi is a partner in a real estate development company in Peru. A practicing Catholic, Bradley DiTeresi supports charities including the Alzheimer’s Association.

Dedicated to eradicating Alzheimer’s disease, the nonprofit supports research initiatives such as the four-year Imaging Dementia-Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) study. The ground-breaking research of over 11,000 Medicare beneficiaries found that providing clinicians with positron emission tomography (PET) scans that identify amyloid plaques, Alzheimer’s-associated plaques in the brain, significantly improved clinical management of patients having dementia and mild cognitive impairment.

Known as amyloid PET imaging, the procedure also significantly revised the cause of cognitive impairment diagnosis. Previously, only autopsied brain tissue, a postmortem analysis, could identify amyloid plaques. The recent availability of amyloid PET made possible the brain scan detection of amyloid plaques leading to a more accurate diagnosis of people having Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the study, the results reveal large-scale and credible evidence of amyloid PET imaging’s effectiveness in improving Alzheimer’s diagnosis precision resulting in improved medical management, particularly in hard to diagnose cases. The researchers stressed that it is imperative that the technique be made widely available to those who need it. The study was published in the April 2, 2019 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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