Published on 14/11/2011
A revolutionary brain-scanning technique for Alzheimer’s disease is entering the final stages of a clinical trial, leading to hopes that patients with private medical insurance could have access to it by the end of 2012.
Up until present, the only way to diagnose Alzheimer’s was by ruling out other possible conditions, like depression or cancer. Definitive confirmation could only been made after the patient passed away, if samples taken from the body contain high levels of beta amyloid plaques.
With the new technique, a compound called Flutemetamol is injected into a person’s arm. The patient then undergoes a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. If beta amyloid plaques are present in the brain, they glow red.
Earlier this year, the second phase of the Flutemetamol test was successfully carried out on 65 patients suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, with less than a year to live. When post-mortem results were used to check the diagnosis, there was only a seven per cent failure rate.
Dr Francois Nicolas, director of neurology for PET Medical Diagnostics, at GE Healthcare, the company that is developing Flutemetamol, says: ‘What makes the results so revolutionary is that it makes both a correct and an earlier diagnosis possible for the first time.’
‘This could significantly increase the quality and even the length of a patient’s life. Equally, those whose scan shows no signs of AD can be given the appropriate treatment they need too.’
If you would like guarantee of an early diagnosis and access to revolutionary scans like this one, choose a health insurance policy which covers diagnostic tests. Compare health insurance policies online now to get access to cutting-edge medical treatment.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011Categories: Medical