Alzheimer’s early detection technology may be positive for patients, family members
By Colleen Van Horn, RN, B.S.N., PHN, CCM.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and as-yet incurable condition; yet doctors and scientists are recommending new PET brain scans effective at early detection of the disease as an aid in determining appropriate medical treatment and helping patients plan for the future.
According to the Society of Nuclear Medicine’s annual report, released in early June, the scans will begin to be available within a year’ s time and offer patients an opportunity to let physicians detect a protein in the brain known as beta-amyloid.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Dr. Christopher Rowe, investigative leader with the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study, believes that a positive scan for amyloid is the most accurate method available for predicting the onset of Alzheimer’s in patients who have already shown a considerable decline in memory. In a news statement, Rowe described the new PET imaging technology as “an important new tool in the assessment of cognitive decline.”
While the decision to undergo an Alzheimer’s-detection scan is a highly personal one that rests with individuals and their families, scientists note that early awareness of high risk or onset of the condition can help physicians prescribe drugs to manage certain symptoms – and also help families work together to create the best possible future for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Securing the future for elders and their loved ones
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is a life-altering, stressful and upsetting circumstance for patients and their families alike. Yet in the midst of all this, the possibility of optimal symptom and time management gives both patients and care-givers the chance to seize a better future. As PET scans reach the marketplace and patients begin to utilize medical technology to help them cope with the possible onset of Alzheimer’s disease, treatment and lifestyle adjustments may help improve overall quality of life for those suffering from memory decline. And until PET scans are fully integrated into healthcare facilities, the experienced professionals at Innovative Healthcare Consultants are here to help.
Founded in 1997 and developed with an emphasis on holistic and comprehensive care, Innovative Healthcare Consultants offers clients a dedicated, empathetic and personal outlet when the details involved in caring for an elderly parent or relative prove too much to bear. As local leaders in geriatric healthcare management, we provide expert elder care planning in order to lift the burden of making difficult and critical care decisions off our clients’ shoulders – not just at the specific time of need or crisis, but throughout the elder’s lifetime.
When individuals suspect severe memory decline and possible Alzheimer’s symptoms in their parents or loved ones, they can easily grow overwhelmed trying to determine the next step in that loved one’s care. Someday, a PET scan may make this process easier for patients and their families alike; in the meantime, Innovative Healthcare Consultants can provide the compassionate expertise and support necessary to secure the future for an aging loved one — and guarantee peace of mind in the process.
To learn more about Innovative Healthcare Consultants, visit us online: www.innovativehc.com.
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