FDG PET Scan More Accurately Assesses Severity of Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s, Study Finds

FDG PET Scan More Accurately Assesses Severity of Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s, Study Finds
Compared to regular amyloid imaging, fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET), an imaging technique that quantifies brain function by measuring glucose levels, can better assess the progression and severity of cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s, and also cognitive impairment, researchers have found. Their study, “18F-FDG Is a Superior Indicator of Cognitive Performance Compared to 18F-Florbetapir in Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment Evaluation: A Global Quantitative Analysis,” was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Progressive decline in cognitive function is the primary clinical manifestation in Alzheimer's, whose disease mechanism is widely believed to be driven by the production and deposition of a protein called amyloid-beta. “Two of the most significant biomarkers found in [Alzheimer’s disease] are decreased cortical [relating to the brain’s outer layer] glucose metabolism and the accumulation of [amyloid-beta] plaques, both of which can be measured using current imaging techniques with positron emission tomography (PET),” the researchers wrote. The 18F-florbetapir PET scan detects amyloid plaques in the brain, which are the prime suspects in damaging and killing nerve cells in Alzheimer's. Before the existence of amyloid imaging, these harmful aggregates could be detected only after a patient's death. However, imaging studies indicate the presence of amyloid-beta is necessary,
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