PET/CT Brain Imaging for Dementia
Brain Metabolic Imaging with 18F FDG
Neuron-damaging diseases which cause dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, cause great changes in brain metabolism, which in turn cause abnormalities that are easily detectable on FDG PET scans.
In Alzheimer’s disease there is a characteristic pattern of decreased FDG uptake in the posterior parietotemporal cortex, which could be caused by neuronal depletion in that area. Physicians use this type of information to differentiate Alzheimer’s disease from fronto-temporal and other dementia.
Amyloid Plaque Imaging
Using a newly FDA approved radiopharmaceutical, physicians can utilize PET/CT imaging to visualize evidence of Amyloid plaques when evaluating for Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid plaque imaging is intended for use in adult patients with cognitive impairment who are undergoing clinical evaluation for Alzheimer’s disease or other causes of cognitive decline.
The radiopharmaceutical is injected into the bloodstream, where it crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to Amyloid plaques. The PET/CT scanner detects a positron signal produced by the radiolabeled fluorine-18 isotope and produces three dimensional images of the distribution of the radiopharmaceutical in the brain.