Article by Mary Sano, Ph.D.
We are proud to announce that Mount Sinai Medical Center is the first in the tri-state area to use the newly approved imaging technique to detect
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology in people who are cognitively impaired. This new technique uses a radioactive agent called florbetapir (trade name Amyvid), which can be administered through injection in the arm. Florbetapir binds to amyloid plaques in the brain that are highlighted so they can be seen in a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Amyloid plaques are the hallmark pathology in the brains of those with AD. The scan can be used in two ways. A negative scan indicates the absence of plaques and a low likelihood of AD. In those who have cognitive problems, a positive scan indicates plaques are likely to be present and the diagnosis may include AD. However, other conditions may also be present. The scan is not currently covered by health insurance but over time if it proves to be useful in diagnosis, it may become part of reimbursed services.