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:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by ... to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from ... the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, ... at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his ... it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for ... $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same ... wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 ... announced the addition of the " Global Markets ... This report focuses ... an updated review, including its applications in various applications. ... market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research ... World Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their ... Market for Companion Diagnostics The World Market ... and personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes ... Test Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today ... its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest ... possible value to their clients by offering a ... preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform ... MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: