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Best Test For Early Detection of AD
Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012 11:03 AM
Joined: 4/18/2012
Posts: 21

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)"


Direct Comparison of Spatially Normalized PET and SPECT Scans in Alzheimer’s Disease


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). END QUOTE






Fludeoxyglucose (18F)


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,


Mimi S.
Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012 7:14 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027

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.

Posted: Friday, April 20, 2012 9:38 AM
Joined: 4/18/2012
Posts: 21

Mimi S.


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.



Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012 7:22 AM
Joined: 4/19/2012
Posts: 83

I have attended the group meetings of our local ALZ chapter and there is a general concensus that the doctors in our area don't test, besides neuropsych, for dementia. I was told there is no cure so enjoy and do the best you can.
Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012 11:37 AM
Joined: 12/5/2011
Posts: 795


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.

Good Luck.

Peace and Hope,


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