A new study shows that the use of positron emission tomography (PET) scans may improve the accuracy of dementia diagnoses early in disease onset for more than one out of four patients. The results were presented at SNM's 56th Annual Meeting.
Early, accurate diagnosis of dementia is critical for providing the best available courses of treatment and therapies in the beginning stages of disease, when treatments can be most effective. PET scans enable physicians to identify the neurological conditions underlying each patient's mental decline and choose appropriate courses of treatment.
"Routine clinical assessments do not accurately identify the root causes of dementia in the early stages," said Kirk A. Frey, a physician with the University of Michigan Hospitals' Division of Nuclear Medicine and lead author of the study. "Our preliminary results clearly indicate that molecular imaging technologies, such as PET scans, can help diagnose a patient's specific type of dementia. This is critical for providing the best possible care. Additionally, PET's ability to pinpoint neurological underpinnings of different forms of dementia could lead to new, more targeted drugs and therapies."
More than 5 million people each year are newly diagnosed with dementia, a disease that takes many forms and includes memory loss or other mental impairments that interfere with daily life. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Other types include frontotemporal dementia, which affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, and Lewy body dementia, which involves degeneration of dopamine nerves in addition to the temporal and parietal lobes. Although these types of dementia have different causes, patients can express similar symptoms in the early stages, making accurate diagnosis difficult. Providing appropriate treatments and therapies as early as possible can avoid unnecessary, and sometimes severe, side-effects and complications.
The new study identified 66 patients with mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment who were evaluated through standard neurological testing and anatomic brain imaging. Three clinical experts reviewed the results of these data to make diagnoses of either Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. Patients then underwent PET scans for amyloid deposits and for dopamine nerve integrity. Patients' initial diagnoses changed more than 25 percent of the time after PET imaging. PET scans provided images of important signals for disease that other examinations missed, such as deposits of amyloid plaque, which are a common indicator of Alzheimer's disease, and damage to dopamine nerves in Lewy body dementia.
The study will track patients for two years to confirm the accuracy of their diagnoses.
Scientific Paper 251: K. Frey, J. Burke, B. Giodani, R. Koeppe, R. Albin, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; "PET neurochemical vs. clinical phenotypes in mild-early dementia," SNM's 56th Annual Meeting, June 13-17, 2009.About SNM—Advancing Molecular Imaging and Therapy
SNM's more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice.
Amy Shaw | EurekAlert!
Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized
23.05.2017 | Waseda University
Computer accurately identifies and delineates breast cancers on digital tissue slides
11.05.2017 | Case Western Reserve University
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2017 | Event News