EDINA, Minn., Feb. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is a significant challenge for the medical profession, one that will continue to increase as baby boomers age. Before Alzheimer’s can be treated, it must be accurately diagnosed—a challenge in itself.
Amyvid, a radioactive dye manufactured by Eli Lilly, was approved by the FDA in April 2012. Amyvid enables clinicians to diagnose with better accuracy, leading to earlier treatment and informed counseling options. Amyvid is injected intravenously; the patient rests during the uptake time and is scanned on a Positron Emission Tomography (PET/CT) scanner. The total procedure takes an hour.
The scan is offered at Lifescan Minnesota, an independent PET/CT diagnostic imaging facility, accredited by the American College of Radiology. It is interpreted by Geoffrey Bodeau , MD, Nuclear Medicine Radiologist at Consulting Radiologists, Ltd. and Medical Director at Lifescan MN.
“This is a big deal, because until now, we’ve never had a good way to image Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Bodeau. ”We can actually see the accumulation of plaque. This test can pick up Alzheimer’s disease up to five years before people come down with the full blown clinical symptoms.”
“Before this we haven’t been able to image the amyloid plaque in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Bodeau said, adding, “if we can get the correct diagnosis sooner, we can get improved treatments.”
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease characterized in its early stages by memory loss and a decrease in thinking ability, including decision-making and ability to perform daily activities.
According to the CDC as many as five million Americans have Alzheimer’s. The disease usually begins after age 60.
A positive scan correlates with frequent or moderate plaques. A positive scan in a person with dementia would be consistent with dementia due to Alzheimer’s. A negative scan—few or no plaques—would indicate that the dementia is unlikely to be related to Alzheimer’s.
Amyvid scans are not currently covered by most insurance providers. Lifescan MN performs scans for patients on a self-pay basis. A physician’s order is required to perform the scan.
Patient Info: For information about the Amyvid scan and diagnosis of dementia, contact Lifescan Minnesota at (952) 893-1997.