Studies are showing that PET scans may deliver a diagnostic edge for early intervention. The founder of PET-CT Las Colinas discusses this screening option.
Irving, TX, May , 2015 – Ever since 4,500 former professional football players filed a lawsuit against the National Football League in relation to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the dangers of this condition have been in the spotlight. Researchers are now finding that one particular testing procedure can give physicians an edge on early detection and treatment of this progressive condition that can rob patients of the memory and judgment while potentially setting the stage for dementia.
“PET scans have been shown to be incredibly helpful in detecting the signs of CTE sooner than other testing procedures,” says Dr. Gregory Echt, founder of and Texas-based Choice Cancer Care. “This finding is critical for giving doctors the ability to intervene faster, potentially paving the way for earlier treatment and better results.”
CTE is a progressive, degenerative disease that affects the brain. It is most commonly diagnosed in people who have a history of repetitive brain trauma, which is why athletes are often at risk. The disease may lead to such symptoms as memory loss, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, confusion and progressive dementia.
“Research is showing that PET scans are better able to pick up patterns commonly found in the brain of CTE patients faster than other testing techniques,” Dr. Echt explains. “The marker looked for involves tau deposition, which basically involves the buildup of this type of protein on the brain. CTE patients tend to have this marker . Spotting it earlier can open the door for more effective intervention.”
People who are at higher risk for developing CTE are those who have suffered repetitive brain injuries, such as multiple concussions. Dr. Echt recommends people who feel they are at risk discuss the disease and its possible detection with their healthcare providers.