Pet Imaging And Alzheimer's Disease Essay

1971 words - 8 pages

Alzheimer’s Disease is an irreversible, degenerative brain disease that is marked by the build up of plaque and tangles in the neurons of Alzheimer’s patients, which induce memory loss and inhibit mental functions. Estimates vary, but experts believe as many as 5.1 million Americans are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s (Alzheimer’s Fact Sheet). Although there is no cure for the disease, early detection of Alzheimer’s is crucial because it allows the patient to immediately begin a drug regimen that slows the process of the disease. In modern medicine, two types of PET imaging, fluorodeoxyglucose and amyloid, are the most effective methods of diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease.
The ...view middle of the document...

Medication for the treatment of Alzheimer’s can slow the process of cell death and subsequent brain tissue loss by regulating chemical messengers in the brain that are important for cell memory. Cholinesterase inhibitors are one such class of drug, which prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine (Alzheimer’s Association), a critical neurotransmitter involved in the initial formation of memory (Animal Behavior Online). Cholinesterase inhibitors are generally prescribed for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s because they are most effective at reducing the speed of cell death (Alzheimer’s Association). As the disease progresses, the brain produces less acetylcholine, so cholinesterase inhibitors eventually lose their effect (Alzheimer’s Medication Fact Sheet). For patients with severe Alzheimer’s, doctors recommend a different type of drug. A medication called memantine regulates the activity of glutamate, a different neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory (Alzheimer’s Association). Memantine works in much the same way as cholinesterase inhibitors, but has generally more severe side effects, so it is reserved for the final stages of Alzheimer’s.
PET imaging can diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier than conventional methods and, therefore, can maximize the amount of time cholinesterase inhibitors are effective for the patient. This is important because it provides the patient with considerably more time to prepare logistically, financially, and psychologically for the future. Patients who are diagnosed in the earliest stages of disease by PET imaging are afforded comfort, dignity, and independence for longer periods of time than patients who are diagnosed by clinical methods like memory tests or urine screenings.
Positron emitting tomography (PET) imaging is the most effective neuroimaging method used in screening for Alzheimer’s Disease. PET imaging is a type of nuclear medicine. The patient ingests or is injected intravenously with a small amount of radioactive material called a radiotracer that accumulates in the part of the body being examined (Radiology Info). For Alzheimer’s patients, the radiotracer gathers in the brain and gives off gamma rays. These rays are detected by the PET scanner and used to produce an image. The radiotracer used in a PET scan can vary based on what kind of activity is being examined. For example, there are two types of radiotracers commonly used to diagnose Alzheimer’s. One measures the relative amount of metabolic activity in the brain, and the other determines the amount of beta amyloid present between the neurons. Even though these two types of PET imaging use different radiotracers, they can both reliably diagnose Alzheimer’s.
Standard FDG-PET scans assess brain activity by measuring the amount of glucose taken up by the brain in proportion to the metabolic activity. Fluorodeoxyglucose, abbreviated FDG, combines a radionuclide that has a measurable level of radioactivity with a glucose substrate...

Other Papers Like Pet Imaging and Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer Disease Essay

1216 words - 5 pages communicate with other cells. Keeping everything running requires large amounts of fuel and oxygen for coordination. Alzheimer’s disease prevents the cells from working correctly. When there are problems in one area it in return causes problems in other areas. As damage in the brain spreads, the cells lose their ability to function correctly, do their jobs, and eventually die causing permanent changes in the brain (Alzheimer's Association, 2011

Preventing Alzheimers by Reading Books Essay

734 words - 3 pages compared lifestyles and positron emission tomography (PET) scans between healthy people in their 20's, healthy people over 65 and those with Alzheimer's. All three groups were surveyed on the frequency with which they read books or newspapers over the course of their lifetime. The PET scans were used to compare the levels of the beta-amyloid protein found in the participant's brains. The PET scans revealed an interesting connection between the

Pet Scans

778 words - 4 pages tissues from any angle to check for abnormalities much faster than CT scans or an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). Currently, PET scans are most commonly used to detect cancer, heart problems (such as coronary artery disease and damage to the heart following a heart attack), brain disorders (including brain tumors, memory disorders, seizures) and other central nervous system disorders (Cleveland Clinic, 2009). Efficient and Effective

Forgetting Something

537 words - 3 pages It's normal to occasionally forget assignments, colleagues' names or a business associate's telephone number, but generally remember them later. Those with a dementia like Alzheimer's disease, may forget things more often, and not remember them later. They may repeatedly ask the same question, not remembering either the answer, or that they already asked the question. Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks Busy people can be distracted from time

Alzheimer Disease

922 words - 4 pages The documentation of a severe form of dementia by Alois Alzheimer in 1907 began a massive investigation of the cause of this disorder. Some of the common symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease consist of memory loss, impaired language ability, impaired judgement, and learning (M. Wong, et al. , 1997). Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is mainly a disease of the cerebral cortex. Alzheimer's is marked structurally by the senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles

How Does Knowledge of the Foundations and History of Nursing Provide a Context in Which to Understand Current Practice? Identify at Least Three Trends in Nursing Practice from the "Nursing Timeline of...

764 words - 4 pages Alzheimer's Disease Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disease that destroys mental and physical functioning in human beings, and invariably leads to death. It is the fourth leading cause of adult death in the United States. Alzheimer's creates emotional and financial catastrophe for many American families every year, but fortunately, a large amount of progress is being made to combat Alzheimer's disease every year

Kate Chopin

1175 words - 5 pages function across the entire brain. The elderly brain changes the attention and the starts having memory loss (Gurian n.d.). Many elderly people complain of temporary failure of concentrating as they age. Elderly people are usually more at risk for common diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Cerebrovascular disease and Parkinson's disease. Different Test Scientist started different ways to study the brain and functions. They started off by

Nuclear Medicine

814 words - 4 pages than a CT scan. The benefit of having a nuclear medicine exam outweighs the risk of not having it. Cancer, Alzeimers disease (neurological disorders), and cardiovascular diseases are three types of disease that nuclear medicine imaging diagnoses (National Academy of Sciences, 2007). Nuclear medicine, which includes PET scans is a type of imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to evaluate molecular activity within the

Case Study

661 words - 3 pages being put into finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, for Jenny she could seek out support groups in her local area. There are a number of websites available for help and the status of current research regarding Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s association ( has many resources Jenny could use to help her understand her grandmother’s disease and its stages. References Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia


930 words - 4 pages Alzheimer's disease (AD), also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease, is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him. Most often, AD is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can

Pet/Ct vs Ct Purchase

2327 words - 10 pages a different imaging modality. The decision at the time was not completely left up to me, but was my responsibility to present which modality I thought would benefit the company and our patients the most, and how the best options to move forward with overseeing this project. The facility offered various imaging services such as a positional stand up MRI, nuclear imaging, ultrasounds, and high quality x-rays. The new project was to fill the

Related Essays

Alzheimer's Disease And Its Link To The Normal Human Developmental Process Of Aging

5155 words - 21 pages obstacles the FDA may come up with in order to sabotage progress with this new drug. Reiman, E. M. et al. (2012). Brain imaging and fluid biomarker analysis in young adults at genetic risk for autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease in the presenilin 1 E280A kindred: a case-control study. The Lancet Neurology, 11(12), 1048-1056. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(12)70228-4 This study provides empirical evidence of subjects as

Alzheimer Essay

4642 words - 19 pages imaging allows the physician to determine how effectively the brain cells are working. A functional MRI or positron emission tomography (PET) scan can be used10. The physician may also use the Alzheimer’s disease Assessment Scale (ADAS) to measure the severity of the disease. The ADAS evaluates the patient’s orientation, memory, reasoning and language on a scale of 0 to 70. A higher score represents a higher level of cognitive impairment. The

Alzheimers Disease Pipeline Review, H1 2014

802 words - 4 pages administration (RoA) and molecule type, along with latest updates, and featured news and press releases. It also reviews key players involved in the therapeutic development for Alzheimer's Disease and special features on late-stage and discontinued projects. Global Markets Direct’s report features investigational drugs from across globe covering over 20 therapy areas and nearly 3,000 indications. The report is built using data and

The Error Essay

1141 words - 5 pages serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Bottom of Form * Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer's are 65 and older. But Alzheimer's is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer's (also known as younger-onset