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Amyloid imaging helps in evaluating possible Alzheimer disease
Date:11/27/2012

mation provided led doctors to change their diagnosis in 55 percent of cases.

When the provisional diagnosis was AD, imaging results led to a change in diagnosis in 37 percent of cases. When the pre-scan diagnosis was either "indeterminate" or another cause of dementia, the diagnosis changed in over 60 percent of cases. In either direction, the scans increased the physicians' ratings of diagnostic confidence by about 20 percent.

Impact on Treatment and Testing Decisions

Florbetapir PET also provided useful information for treatment decision-making: in 87 percent of patients, the results contributed to at least one change in the treatment plan. The main impact was in deciding whether or not to use medications that are helpful in AD. The scan results also affected decisions on further testingin many cases, physicians dropped plans to perform additional brain imaging studies or neuropsychological tests.

Alzheimer disease is the most common cause of dementia, but the diagnosis can be challenging to make. The only definitive way to diagnose AD is by autopsy examination of the brain after death. Up to 20 percent of patients diagnosed with AD turn out not to have had AD on autopsy, while up to 40 percent of patients diagnosed with other causes of dementia have evidence of AD at autopsy.

Florbetapir PET is the first FDA-approved imaging that can estimate amyloid deposits in the brain of a living patient. Previous studies have shown that the scans are accurate in identifying patients later shown to have AD at autopsy.

The new results show that florbetapir PET scans can have a significant effect in "real world" clinical evaluation of patients with cognitive impairment. By strengthening the case for or against a diagnosis of AD, this test can have a significant impact on patient managementparticularly related to the use of AD medications and the need for further testing. Additional studies will be needed to c
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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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