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Younger-Onset AD or Other Dementia
Best Test For Early Detection of AD
I found an interesting post on another message board that might be of interest to to those who want to know if they are in the early stages of AD.
I have researched further and surmise that the earliest problem that arises when neurons are affected by AD is a reduction in their ability to process glucose. If you review the excerpts from two articles I have pasted below, you will learn that the F-FDG PET scan is the most accurate. (A SPECT scan is a little bit cheaper but also a little less accurate).
Also, the IV fluid used for the test is "Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F)"
QUOTE: Impairment of the cerebral metabolic rate of glucose (CMRglu) in the
temporoparietal association cortex is typical of Alzheimer’s
disease (AD) and can be shown with 18F-FDG PET (1,2). This PET finding is closely related to a similar finding with SPECT after injection of cerebral perfusion tracers (3,4). SPECT, because of its lower cost, is often preferred for clinical purposes despite studies indicating that PET better detects
abnormalities in other association areas (5) and better differentiates AD from vascular dementia (6).
LINK: http://jnm.snmjournals.org/content/43/1/21.full :
Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F) or fludeoxyglucose (18F) (INN), commonly abbreviated 18F-FDG or FDG, is a radiopharmaceutical used in the medical imaging modality positron emission tomography (PET). Chemically, it is 2-deoxy-2-(18F)fluoro-D-glucose, a glucose analog, with the positron-emitting radioactive isotope fluorine-18 substituted for the normal hydroxyl group at the 2' position in the glucose molecule.
After 18F-FDG is injected into a patient, a PET scanner
can form images of the distribution of FDG around the body. The images
can be assessed by a nuclear medicine physician or radiologist to provide diagnoses of various medical conditions. END QUOTE
Best to all,
John: The problem is who will be able to get the test and at what cost?
I still advise beginning with your primary and ask for the mini-mental test. How did you feel about it? Did you struggle?
I was told I passed the first time around. For sure I realized later the doctor did not score the copying a figure test correctly. I knew I struggled. I realized things that should have been a snap were not. I should have persisted.
However, three years later, when I finally began the diagnostic process, I was still early enough along that the meds and Best Practices have kept me in great shape for over three years.
The mini mental does not catch everyone. Certain types of dementia present differently. Some with superior intelligence or coping skills may pass the test.
You know yourself. If you feel there is a problem, persist and get to the best diagnostic center available.
If they do the spinal tap or the Pittsburg compound PET Scan, that's a plus.
I placed the above information in this area because there are people who have said that they are struggling with knowing whether they have AD or not--people like FFwife.
I am a caregiver, not a patient.
You are correct in that there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's Disease; however, there are still medications, best practices, diet and exercise that can help many slow down the disease.
It is important to get an accurate diagnosis for those things. Not to mention clinical trials.
Peace and Hope,