The early detection of Alzheimer's disease is now facilitated with the development and availability of specialised PET Scans being used in research studies currently running at Glasgow Memory Clinic.
PET scanning (Positron Emission Tomography) is an imaging technique that uses small quantities of radioactive tracers to produce images. PET scanning has now been developed to facilitate the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and shows if there is deposition of amyloid protein in the brain. CT (Computed Tomography) utilises X-rays to produce pictures showing the density of the brain. By combining these two techniques in one scanner important information about the brain in obtained.
People attending Glasgow Memory Clinic who are concerned about memory decline can be eligible to have a PET scan as part of their screening tests for current research studies at the clinic.
Senior Research Physician Dr Jennifer Lynch explains, ' PET scanning is now being used in Alzheimer studies at the clinic. We have studies running at the clinic that aim to identify people who are in the very early stages of Alzheimer' s disease. This is sometimes referred to as Prodromal Alzheimer's disease. The PET scans allow us to identify people who have amyloid deposits building up in the brain. Studies offer a person study medication and aim to find out if the medication can delay or prevent the progression of Alzheimer's. Study medication will be either active treatment, for example with a vaccine or other new medicine being studied or placebo. Typically a person will then be closely followed over the next 18-24 months and will attend the clinic at regular intervals for tests and checks.'
The Director of Research at the clinic Dr Fraser Inglis said 'The availability of these scans in research is a very positive development in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.
We have pioneered Alzheimer Vaccine studies here at the clinic and have been running trials in this area of medicine since 2007. We have also pioneered the use of lumbar puncture in Alzheimer's research trials. We will present later this month at an international congress in Geneva what we believe to be the largest series of research lumbar punctures reported to date. These tests have been conducted in our own dedicated unit.'
'The availability now of PET scans is another very positive step forward in the early identification of Alzheimer's disease.'
Individuals over the age of 50 who are concerned about a decline in memory function and who are interested in participating in research can contact the clinic.
There is no charge at all for attending the clinic and participating in the research studies running at the centre.