Navigation Links
Alzheimer's Scan Might Help Spot Disease
Date:1/21/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- An advisory panel's recommendation that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approve a new chemical that can highlight the telltale signs of Alzheimer's in brain scans may one day help doctors diagnose the neurodegenerative disease, experts said Friday.

On Thursday, the panel voted 16 to 0 to recommend approval of the imaging agent, known as Amyvid, with one critical caveat: Manufacturer Eli Lilly and Co. must demonstrate that standards for interpreting brain scans that show amyloid plaques illuminated by Amyvid can be made consistent enough to routinely guarantee an accurate diagnosis.

Amyvid (florbetapir) is injected into patients who then undergo a PET scan; a negative result can help rule out Alzheimer's, according to Lilly.

Experts agreed that the test could become a critical part of spotting Alzheimer's before symptoms have taken hold, but they noted that the clinical reality of that is far from imminent.

"It may well be that amyloid imaging will join colonoscopy, mammography, etc. as mid-life surveillance tests, and that anti-amyloid interventions are most effective in the pre-symptomatic stages of Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Sam Gandy, the Mount Sinai Chair in Alzheimer's Disease Research in New York City. However, this possibility is years away, he added.

The value for research is clear, Gandy said. "Either a spinal fluid amyloid test or an amyloid scan will help weed out non-Alzheimer's dementias in clinical trials of anti-amyloid agents. The clinical value in the short-term is less obvious."

Current medications are most effective in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and amyloid scans might identify those patients for doctors who don't have access to neuropsychological testing, Gandy said.

"A confirmed diagnosis would enable planning for the future while patients are at an early enough stage to still participate in the discussion," he said. "In the symptomatic patient, the amyloid scan would portend the onset of dementia within the next five years."

However, because there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease yet, the test might be one that is not considered worth its cost, Gandy said.

Gandy noted that the "300-pound gorilla in the room" is whether Medicare/Medicaid will reimburse such a test, even if the FDA follows its expert panel's advice and approves Amyvid. (While the FDA doesn't have to follow a panel's advice, it usually does.) "Medicare may decide that the added value does not merit reimbursement without a meaningful intervention," he said.

Also, Grandy said he doesn't expect approval until there are methods in place to train doctors in how to read these scans.

Another expert, David Loewenstein, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said that the approval of Amyvid "will allow physicians to come to an earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's."

What is needed is consistency for evaluating scans using the agent, he said, so that physicians "can apply a single standard and there won't be gaps between hospitals because of different readers using different methods."

Loewenstein thinks use of this new diagnostic tool will help in several ways. First, it will help researchers find effective treatments by diagnosing the disease early, although having the plaques does not always mean the patient has Alzheimer's. Second, it will identify people who can take part in clinical trials of new Alzheimer's drugs.

"There is a whole new line of drugs being formulated that will help treat the earliest stages of the disease," Loewenstein said. "We need to know who are the appropriate people with the mildest cognitive problems to get into clinical trials."

In addition, the test has value even before treatments are available in terms of helping patients prepare for the course of the disease, Loewenstein noted. "I think many people would like an early diagnosis," he said.

More information

For more information on Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association.

SOURCES: David Loewenstein, Ph.D., professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Sam Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., professor, neurology and psychiatry, Mount Sinai Chair in Alzheimer's Disease Research, director, Center for Cognitive Health, and associate director, Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, New York City


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Gene Test Might Predict Colon Cancers Return
2. Virus might fight brain tumors better if armed with bacterial enzyme, study shows
3. Sugary Drinks, Foods Might Put Teens at Risk for Heart Disease
4. Closely Spaced Pregnancies Might Up Autism Risk: Study
5. Earlier Diagnosis Might Cut Cost of Teen Pelvic Disease
6. Giving IV Fluids on Scene Might Raise Death Risk for Trauma Victims
7. Stem Cell Defect Might Help Spur Common Baldness
8. Delaying Sex Might Strengthen Marriage
9. Too Much Fried Fish Might Help Make South the Stroke Belt
10. New Method Might Raise Number of Donor Lungs
11. Depression During Pregnancy Might Affect Baby
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Alzheimer's Scan Might Help Spot Disease
(Date:2/27/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 27, 2017 , ... Elisa Guajardo Carothers is not your typical ... to studying to become a nun. Now, she writes about God, when she isn’t swimming ... Know BC and AD, Here is BS! (Before Satan),” she offers a comedic look at ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... N. Y. (PRWEB) , ... February 27, 2017 , ... ... ( ILADS ) has disclosed that despite scientific studies, the Center for Disease Control ... chronic Lyme disease . Kenneth B. Liegner, M.D. has compiled into a ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... ... February 27, 2017 , ... Silicon Valley Hair Institute, a ... an upgrade to the company's Yelp listing. Bay Area residents struggling from thinning ... as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, hair transplantation techniques such as Follicular Unit ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... February 26, 2017 , ... This is an extension of ... to be ISO/IEC 17025:2005 INAB accredited for Der p 1 (house dust mite ... globally recognised standard that sets out requirements for the technical competence of testing ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 26, ... ... sets a new technology standard in staffing, scheduling, and reporting for healthcare ... and predict activity throughout the entire staffing process. StaffBridge technology improves staffing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Hemophilia ... ... Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016, provides drug pricing data and ... questions: What are the key drugs marketed ... Global Hemophilia market? What are the unit prices and ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017 Juan ... & Associates PC , a boutique securities firm headquartered ... York City , announces that a class action ... Massachusetts  against Inotek Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: ... the Company,s securities between July 23, 2015 and December 30, ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017  Directors from Pharma To Market Pty Ltd ... joined forces, resulting in the founding of Pharma To Market Pte ... To Market are pleased to announce their expansion into ... Singapore . The company are delighted to appoint ... the Singapore based entity. Joelle brings with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: