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PET scans make a difference in Alzheimer’s diagnosis

New research is a step toward understanding how imaging results affect the diagnosis and treatment of people with Alzheimer's.
PET scan patient (PET scans concept)

Brain imaging to detect Alzheimer’s-related plaques affects clinical diagnosis and management of patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia, according to a new study.

The findings, which appear in in the Journal of the American Medical Association, are a step toward understanding how imaging results ultimately affect patient outcomes. The study included 11,409 Medicare beneficiaries, 595 different clinical sites, and 946 dementia specialists.

The team found that providing clinicians with the results of positron emission tomography (PET) scans that identify amyloid plaques in the brain changed medical management—including the use of medications and counseling about dementia risks—in more than 60 percent of patients. This information also altered the diagnosis as to the cause of cognitive impairment in more than one in three study participants.

Here, Constantine Gatsonis, a professor of biostatistics in Brown University’s School of Public Health, shares insights on the Imaging Dementia—Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) study and his role as lead statistician.

The post PET scans make a difference in Alzheimer’s diagnosis appeared first on Futurity.

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