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Amyloid PET Scans May Drastically Change Alzheimer’s Diagnosis and Care

April 29, 2019

From the Everyday Health website

When doctors see patients who exhibit signs of mild cognitive impairment or dementia, they have traditionally screened them for Alzheimer’s disease using lab tests, mental evaluations, and standard brain scans.

But while these tools provide helpful information, they do not give a conclusive diagnosis. The only way to definitely identify Alzheimer’s has been to examine brain tissue in an autopsy.

New technology involving positron emission tomography (PET), however, has been changing that. The imaging technique can spot amyloid plaques in the brain — a telltale sign of Alzheimer’s — by using a specific radioactive agent that binds to the plaques.

study published April 2, 2019, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows how amyloid PET scans may drastically alter how doctors diagnose and treat those with mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

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