Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Pet Scan Predicts If Memory Lapses Will Progress Into Dementia, Detects Alzheimer's Disease At Earliest Stage, UCLA-Led Study Finds

Date:
November 23, 2001
Source:
University Of California-Los Angeles
Summary:
Ever wonder whether your memory lapses might indicate something more serious? Now a non-invasive medical procedure can help you know for sure. UCLA research shows that positron emission tomography (PET) scans of the brain can accurately detect early Alzheimer’s disease up to 95 percent of the time — leading to prompt medical treatment for the debilitating disease.

Ever wonder whether your memory lapses might indicate something more serious? Now a non-invasive medical procedure can help you know for sure.

Related Articles


UCLA research shows that positron emission tomography (PET) scans of the brain can accurately detect early Alzheimer’s disease up to 95 percent of the time — leading to prompt medical treatment for the debilitating disease.

Reported in the Nov. 7 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the UCLA team’s findings also show that PET is sensitive enough to predict whether persons experiencing age-related memory problems will or will not develop dementia in the future.

In the largest PET scan study of Alzheimer’s diagnosis to date, researchers evaluated 284 patients at eight academic centers in the United States and Europe between 1984 and 2000. The UCLA team pooled data from brain PET scans, clinical follow-up and autopsy findings to judge PET as a tool for detecting — and predicting — Alzheimer’s disease.

“We wanted to test the sensitivity of PET in evaluating the brain for the presence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” said Dr. Dan Silverman, principal investigator and UCLA assistant professor of pharmacology. “We found that PET opens a window into the living brain with a degree of accuracy matched only by autopsy.”

“Physicians can perform this procedure non-invasively on living patients and detect dementia early enough for clinical intervention,” he said.

Silverman and his colleagues used PET scans to map brain activity in 284 middle-aged and elderly adults being evaluated for dementia. After the scans revealed changes in brain activity, the UCLA team used the test results to predict the patients’ future cognitive abilities.

Physicians monitored 146 of the patients over two to nine years to determine whether or not they developed dementia. In the 138 other patients, physicians examined their brain tissue after death for signs of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. In each case, the UCLA team compared the patient’s final clinical outcome to its PET-based predictions.

Silverman and his colleagues found that PET accurately detected brain changes linked to Alzheimer’s and other dementia the vast majority of the time. For example: · PET correctly identified Alzheimer’s in 95 percent of the patients in the earliest stages of dementia. · PET accurately foretold the disease in 93 percent of the patients later diagnosed with progressive dementia. · PET correctly identified the presence of Alzheimer’s disease in 94 percent of the diagnoses later confirmed by autopsy. · PET accurately predicted whether patients would or would not develop Alzheimer’s disease in nearly 90 percent of all cases.

“PET’s ability to diagnose dementia in its earliest stage holds great significance,” Silverman said, “because medical management offers the most benefit during the initial period of decline.”

“This is the first study to evaluate a large group of patients for dementia through both PET and autopsy — the gold standard for Alzheimer’s detection,” said Dr. Gary Small, director of UCLA’s Center for Aging and co-author. “We are now in a more informed position to consider what role PET should play in the clinical evaluation of patients with symptoms of dementia.”

Pioneered by Dr. Michael Phelps, UCLA pharmacology chair, PET scans measure brain activity by revealing the amount of glucose metabolized in each region of the brain. A drop in metabolism indicates decreased activity in that region. Unlike other brain imaging techniques, PET scans can differentiate Alzheimer’s disease from the normal effects of aging.

“We believe that physicians can use PET to detect Alzheimer’s disease with high sensitivity and accuracy — even in its earliest stages,” Silverman said. “Physicians can also use the scans to reassure people that their symptoms are not due to Alzheimer’s or other neurodegenerative diseases that cause mental decline.”

Alzheimer’s disease afflicts nearly 10 percent of people older than 65. The condition often begins with mild memory lapses, then gradually advances to dementia — a progressive deterioration of memory, language and most mental functions. Alzheimer’s patients eventually become bedridden and require constant care. The United States spends roughly $100 billion on the disease per year.

The UCLA team collaborated with researchers at UC Davis, UC Berkeley, the National Institute of Aging, Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Universite de Liege in Belgium and the Max-Planck-Institut fur Neurologische Forschung in Koln, Germany.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center of California, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Department of Radiology at Duke University and the Sidell-Kagen Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California-Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California-Los Angeles. "Brain Pet Scan Predicts If Memory Lapses Will Progress Into Dementia, Detects Alzheimer's Disease At Earliest Stage, UCLA-Led Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120054932.htm>.
University Of California-Los Angeles. (2001, November 23). Brain Pet Scan Predicts If Memory Lapses Will Progress Into Dementia, Detects Alzheimer's Disease At Earliest Stage, UCLA-Led Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120054932.htm
University Of California-Los Angeles. "Brain Pet Scan Predicts If Memory Lapses Will Progress Into Dementia, Detects Alzheimer's Disease At Earliest Stage, UCLA-Led Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120054932.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins