Positron emission tomography, or a PET scan, has been proven to be effective in detecting rogue proteins inside the brain tissue of people, and can generate 3 dimensional images of the same. It has been proposed that these scans can help patients who contend with Alzheimer’s disease. An adapted version has been used to show beta-amyloid proteins, a sign of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- One group: A study was conducted recently by a team from the Imperial College, involving 100 patients. The scans of their brains, taken as a segment of their diagnosis work was analyzed in detail with the adapted technique, now known as Amyloid-PET Imaging was highly useful in identifying cases where the disease had been misdiagnosed, and confirming the condition in other patients where the conditions usually associated with the disease were absent. It proved the presence of the protein in forty nine cases, and altered the verdict in thirty cases, where it was suggested it was a different type of dementia.
- Can be used to help younger patients: The information from these scans can be used to help younger patients suspected to be in the early stages of dementia, as they might not show the symptoms seen more apparently in elderly patients. It can also confirm the diagnosis in cases where they might be uncertain, and prevent the need for more invasive treatments like CSF collection from the body.
- Obvious benefits: The scans were obvious in proving the usefulness of this technique for confirming cases. However, the expenses involved, and the less available type of PET technology used in this process makes it unlikely for this to be the new standardized test used in hospitals, though it can be used in a sub-category of patients, to clarify their diagnosis, and get them the best treatment.
This technique drastically reduces the quantity of follow up tests the patients need, and thus, can help deal with their disease in the best way possible.