Mount Sinai Performs First Imaging Test to Detect Alzheimer's Disease in the Clinical Setting
The new technique is expected to play a critical role in Alzheimer's disease diagnosis and in research leading to a cure.
NEW YORK, NY – June 20, 2012 /Press Release/
The Mount Sinai Medical Center is the first institution in New York State to use in the clinical setting a newly approved imaging technique to detect Alzheimer's disease (AD) in people who are cognitively impaired. Until now, physicians have been limited in their ability to diagnose AD, guided almost exclusively by a patient's mental and behavioral symptoms and family history. The innovative technique—recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is not only expected to play a critical role in the diagnosis of AD, but in drug research, and the design of clinical trials leading to a cure.
Under the new procedure, patients are injected with a radioactive agent called florbetapir, which binds to the plaques that are hallmark symptoms of AD. The physician then uses a positron emission tomography (PET) scan to highlight the plaques that are binded to the agent. If a large amount of florbetapir is visualized on the image, the patient may have AD. If no plaques are found, this could eliminate AD as a possible cause of the patient's cognitive impairment.