Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Florbetapir PET May Rule out Amyloidosis, Alzheimer's

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Florbetapir PET May Rule out Amyloidosis, Alzheimer's

Article excerpt

AT AAIC 2013

BOSTON -- Brain amyloid imaging may help clinicians to rule Alzheimer's disease in or out and spare patients with other forms of dementia from the possibly harmful effects of antiamyloid therapies, a small study has shown.

In a case series of 20 patients who were given clinical diagnoses that included frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, and mild cognitive impairment, PET scanning with the radiotracer florbetapir 18F (Amyvid) was positive and consistent in scans of patients with diagnoses of AD or amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and was negative in scans of patients with Parkinson's disease, delayed posttraumatic cognitive impairment, depression, and normal cognition.

One of the patients was a retired National Football League player with a history of multiple concussions. Although neuropsychologists and neurologists disagreed on a diagnosis of possible AD, florbetapir 18F PET imaging helped them confirm a diagnosis of delayed posttraumatic cognitive impairment without amyloidosis and with possible chronic traumatic encephalopathy, said Effie Mitsis, Ph.D., of the department of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Florbetapir is a radioligand that attaches to amyloid plaques in the brain. Dr. Mitsis and her colleagues use the agent as part of a comprehensive clinical dementia evaluation,

In the series she reported in a poster at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2013, flor-betapir PET scans were negative in all of three patients diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and primary progressive aphasia, and in two of three patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia.

In one patient diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and AD, the scans were positive, and in another diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and depression, the scans were negative, the investigators found. …

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