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Dementia Of The Alzheimers Type Diagnostic Criteria

Dementia: Amyloid PET scans can improve diagnosis and care

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, the ability to diagnose it more accurately in the early stages can help doctors prescribe the correct treatment and give patients and their families time to prepare for the future. It can also improve the selection of suitable candidates for Alzheimer's drug trials.

If the amyloid PET scan can rule out Alzheimer's disease as the cause of a person's dementia symptoms, doctors can then evaluate other causes, some of which might even be reversible, such as medication, sleep disturbance, or mood disorders.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved the use of the chemical tracers that amyloid PET scans require for diagnosing dementia. However, health insurance schemes do not currently cover their cost, putting them out of reach for most people.

Study co-author Dr. Maria C. Carrillo is chief science officer of the Alzheimer's Association, one of the study's sponsors. She states that the study offers "highly credible, large-scale evidence that amyloid PET imaging can be a powerful tool to improve the accuracy of Alzheimer's diagnosis and lead to better medical management, especially in difficult-to-diagnose cases."