It is estimated that Alzheimer’s disease will affect 100 million people by 2050, but currently doctors rely on family history and intellectual tests to diagnose patients. Using these current methods, about 20% of patients diagnosed with AD are false positives, and the only definitive way to identify AD is post-mortem analysis of beta-amyloid in the patient’s brain tissue.
Now, Siemens Healthcare has announced an imaging solution which can detect beta-amyloid plaques in the brains of living patients. The new technology utilizes Amyvid, Eli Lilly’s recently FDA approved radioactive agent, to make the plaques visible in PET scanning. Images are captured using Siemens’ Biograph mCT PET-CT, and the company’s 510(k)-pending syngo.PET Amyloid Plaque quantification software can help doctors determine actual amyloid levels. Siemens plans to begin providing Amyvid to imaging centers this June.
This week, a team of researchers from Piramal Healthcare Ltd. (Mumbai, India) also announced that they have successfully detected beta-amyloid in the brains of living patients through the use of PET scans. Instead of Amyvid, the Piramal team used florbetaben to make beta-amyloid visible, and relied on only visual assessment of the PET images. Their visual assessment demonstrated 100% sensitivity and 92% specificity, according to the study.
More from Siemens:
syngo.PET Amyloid Plaque, Siemens’ proprietary quantification software, is intended to take a patient’s PET amyloid exam and automatically register it against a reference model of a PET amyloid brain. Siemens’ proprietary affine registration algorithm has been shown in research to have a correlation coefficient of 0.98 to the Fleisher method. Pioneered by Dr. Adam Fleisher, this reference model identifies six optimal zones to evaluate pathological levels of amyloid plaque burden. syngo.PET Amyloid Plaque enables physicians to calculate uptake ratios. Uptake ratios, such as SUVr, can be compared to Fleisher thresholds, thus allowing to reflect pathological levels of amyloid. Combined with visual assessment, these capabilities may give physicians added confidence in determining amyloid plaque burden — for instance, in borderline cases, which otherwise could result in inconclusive or false scanning reports.
Press releases: Siemens Announces First Integrated Amyloid Imaging Solution in the U.S. Market for Use in Evaluation of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Causes of Cognitive Decline…; Encouraging Phase III Study Results Show PET Imaging with Florbetaben Reliably Detects Beta-Amyloid in the Brain… (Piramal Healthcare)