The founder of PET/CT at Las Colinas discusses a new radiotherapy breakthrough that may help detect Alzheimer’s earlier.
Irving, TX, June, 2015 – Seeing “inside” the brain to detect diseases such as Alzheimer’s has been problematic in the past. For years, doctors had to accept spotty diagnostic procedures with the only real definitive confirmation of this particular disease coming during post-mortem autopsies. Courtesy of a relatively new radiological breakthrough, however, physicians can now gain greater insights into changes occurring in the brain to provide a more accurate way to diagnose cognitive conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, earlier and with more certainty.
“The introduction of the injectable medication called Amyvid is enhancing the power of traditional positron emission tomography (PET) scans to detect the formation of amyloid plaque on the brain,” explains Dr. Gregory Echt, . “This radioactive tracer enables the tagging of amyloid proteins, which are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Amyvid-based scans are enabling doctors to detect Alzheimer’s earlier and they are also better positioning doctors to diagnose or rule out other causes of cognitive decline. What makes this medication so important is that it offers insights into the health of the brain that were once only possible post-mortem.
“Having the ability to detect and/or rule out Alzheimer’s and other cognitive decline-related conditions is crucial for early intervention,” says Dr. Echt. “While some conditions are not curable, so to say, their most devastating effects can sometimes be delayed when treatment begins as early as possible.”
Amyvid works by enabling doctors to more readily detect plaque growth on the brain. When scans are negative, doctors can generally rule out Alzheimer’s as the cause of cognitive decline. When scans are positive, Alzheimer’s may not always be to blame, but the likelihood is much stronger. That means doctors are enabled to recommend a swifter course of action to treat the suspected condition.
Individuals who are concerned about cognitive decline are urged to contact their healthcare providers. There are a host of conditions that may cause similar conditions. Undergoing testing to determine the cause is crucial for stopping and/or slowing progression of symptoms, says Dr. Echt.