PET Imaging May Aid in Identifying Findings Associated With Alzheimer's

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PET imaging may help identify findings in brain tissue associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to two studies published online first by Archives of Neurology.

One study, led by David A. Wolk, MD, of the Penn Memory Center in Philadelphia, Pa., involved the evaluation of fluorine 18-labeled flutemetamol for imaging the brain. PET scans were conducted on seven patients who were given a dose of this substance. In the second study, Adam S. Fleisher, MD, of Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix, Ariz. and colleagues, evaluated PET imaging using florbetapir F 18. The study population included 68 individuals with probable Alzheimer’s, 60 individuals with mild cognitive impairment, and 82 healthy individuals who served as controls.

The authors of both articles state that their results may demonstrate ways in which PET imaging can be used with selected tracers to help identify findings associated with Alzheimer’s. According to Wolk et al, “biomarkers that provide molecular specificity will likely become of greater importance in the differential diagnosis of cognitive impairment in older adults", while Fleisher et al claim amyloid imaging “offers great promise to facilitate the evaluation of patients in a clinical setting."

To read the abstracts of the studies, click here http://archneur.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/archneurol.2011.153v1.