PET Scans Help Spot Brain Plaque

Sofia Editor
  • Researchers in Finland are reporting that a PET scan may help doctors locate the brain plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease, HealthDay News is reporting.


    This would give doctors a non-invasive way to locate the plaque. Currently, the only way to locate this plaque is through the analysis of brain tissue samples, which can be obtained when a person is still alive, or after death.


    The study used a small sample of 10 participants who were injected with carbon 11-labeled Pittsburgh Compound B and then given a 90 minute PET scan.


    The participants with beta-amyloid plaques had a higher uptake of the carbon 11 in their brain than patients without the plaques.

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    Researchers, however, are saying that studies with a larger population will be needed to determine “whether [11C]PiB PET will become a tool in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease.”


    Studies say that Plaque removal fails to prevent Alzheimers.  However, spotting plaque in a person’s brain could lead to an early diagnosis of the chronic disease.


    Last month, researchers noted that MRIs may also be able to identify brain plaque after conducting a study on laboratory rabbits.


    Keeping up with all of the new, and sometimes contradicting, Alzheimer’s research may be tiresome. But, unfortunately that’s how research works.


    So, take some time, write it down, get it off your chest, and just plain vent!


Published On: August 13, 2008