If you’re wondering: What are biomarkers and why are they important in diagnosing Alzheimer’s and other dementias? Don’t miss our annual Science Night on Nov. 8, 6 – 8:30 pm at Sinclair Conference Center.
Biomarkers — physiologic/organic signals — identified with various tests are becoming important tools in the diagnosis of dementia. One such tool — PET scans — can be particularly effective in identifying beta amyloid plaque buildup in the brain, and beta amyloid is a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease.
A survey of individuals with cognitive impairment and their caregivers found that more than 80 percent were receptive to undergoing a PET imaging study if it was recommended by their doctor, and clinicians would base decisions about future patient care on brain PET scan findings. Many study participants were frustrated by the lack of availability of brain amyloid PET scans in clinical practice. A separate analysis of Medicare claims data found that approximately 60 percent of dementia cases are missed in clinical practice, particularly cases of early dementia.
“A negative brain PET scan indicating sparse to no amyloid plaques rules out Alzheimer’s disease as the cause of dementia symptoms. This makes it a valuable tool to clarify an uncertain or difficult diagnosis,” said James A. Hendrix, PhD, Alzheimer’s Association Director of Global Science Initiatives. “Misdiagnosis is costly to health systems, and expensive and distressing to persons with dementia and their families.
The Alzheimer’s Association in conjunction with the American College of Radiology and American College of Radiology Imaging Network launched the IDEAS Study (Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning) will provide further evidence to demonstrate the utility of amyloid PET imaging in a clinical setting. A swift and accurate diagnosis has a huge impact on access to Alzheimer’s treatments, eligibility for research trials, plus much-needed support and information services.
Several local physicians and Kettering Medical Center participate in the IDEAS Study. Come to Science Night to learn more about the study and the power of testing for biomarkers in diagnosing dementia. Register here with a credit card by Nov. 1. Cost is $10 per person. If you have questions or need help registering by mail call 1-800-272-3900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.